Manning has been benched but insists he can still play (Washington Post)
We know you're a gunslinger, but don't try to make one last heroic stand. You're out of bullets. You won't go out in a blaze of glory--you'll go out with a whimper, like a sick dog who has to be put down.
This year you tried to prove that your putrid finish to last year was a fluke. Instead, this year proved that it wasn't.
Next year will be more of the same, probably even worse. You'll try to show you still have something left in the tank, when clearly you don't. You're too slow. Your arm's not strong enough. Your reflexes aren't sharp enough.
Don't give us another year of missed passes, ugly interceptions, and wobbly throws, Don't cloud all our great memories of you with the sad sight of you hanging on too long. No more games like the one you had against Kansas City.
Nothing good will come of your stubborn return. You have nothing left to prove. You're a Super Bowl champion and the greatest quarterback of all time (statistically speaking). You don't need to take any more big hits, not when you have a surgically repaired neck. Not when a guy twice your size could shut your lights off.
Nobody blames you for coming back this year. You were so good last year. You wanted one more ring so little brother Eli, an inferior signal-caller in every regard, wouldn't finish with more than you. A return to form seemed possible.
It didn't happen. It usually doesn't for 39 year-olds. So what makes you think it will at 40? At some point, you just have to admit you can't do it anymore. We've reached that point. You've been replaced by Brock Osweiler. Brock. Osweiler.
If you have a shred of dignity, you'll stop sulking, mentor the new kid, and call it quits after this year. You won't try to latch on with another team that will give you a chance. You'll bow out gracefully on your own terms, rather than be forced out when you fall apart again next year. Then you can get on with the rest of your life, which I'm sure will involve lots of commercials.
Please, Mr. Manning, don't make us suffer through another season of you stumbling around the pocket. Don't subject yourself to any more criticism. Just do us all a favor and just walk away.