Moving on from a franchise QB

It was a very emotional news conference when Peyton Manning was released by Indianapolis. Brian Spurlock/US Presswire

How do you replace a franchise quarterback?

It is a tortuous question to even consider. And it's even tougher to put a plan in motion.

But long-range planning is a requisite part of being a general manager. And even the best athletes in their sport will one day play their final game. As the architect of a franchise's roster, you have to be prepared for that day. And those with quarterbacks in their mid-30s -- where medical research has shown players are more prone to break down -- should prepare themselves sooner rather than later.

Nearly every NFL fan is familiar with the fate of the Indianapolis Colts when Peyton Manning was sidelined with a neck injury. I certainly am, and the fact is we were not adequately prepared to sustain a loss of that magnitude.