Where will Peyton go???
Yesterday on the CBS pregame show, insider and former NFL GM Charlie Casserly named the Arizona Cardinals as a darkhorse for Peyton Manning if the Colts should be dumb enough to let him go. This idea has motivated me to breakdown the most likely destinations for Peyton Manning this offseason. The Colts have until March 8th to pay Manning a 28 million dollar roster bonus or be forced to let him be a free agent. Also remember the Colts will be taking Andrew Luck in the draft so there is a possibility of this happening. Will Peyton Manning be coming to a city near you? Lets find out!!
I am automatically eliminating Green Bay, New England, Philadelphia, New York Giants, Detroit, Chicago. Carolina, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Atlanta, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Buffalo, Houston, San Diego and Oakland. These teams either have established quarterbacks or have already committed long-term to their current quarterbacks. This leaves us with 12 teams to choose from. I will go by alphabetical order of the teams and say “Why he would” and “Why he Wouldnt.” Let the fun begin!
Why he would: The Cardinals have everything that you could possibly offer to Peyton Manning. This is a team that managed to win 8 games with the dynamic duo of John Skeleton and Kevin Kolb. He will be throwing to the best wide receiver in football and has a very good running back. He would be in a dome with a coach who likes to throw instead of pass. This option actually makes a ton of sense for both parties. The Cardinals could also release Kevin Kolb by not paying his roster bonus and be out of his lucrative contract to give them room to offer the house to Manning. I would have to think that this situation would highly appeal to Manning and I am now hoping the Colts make the stupid decision to let Manning walk.
Why he would not: He wants to win a Super Bowl now and finds a team in an even better spot than the Cardinals or he gets offered more money elsewhere.
Why he would: Ummmm it is a close drive to the football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. He could drive down there every week and visualize where his bust will be and put one on reserve.
Why he would not: In all honesty, Manning would probably retire than play for the Cleveland Browns. They have talent at the skill positions and even with the upgrade of Manning they would hardly be a borderline playoff team in a division with Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Cincinnati. Less than 0% for the Browns.
Why he would: He would be offered the most money, play in a dome and have the greatest overall talent on offense of any team that would be in the running for him. Jerry Jones would give Manning the keys to the city, his yachts, his mansion and probably even the stadium. He will be inside for 8 games a year and be throwing to Dez Bryant, Miles Austin, Laurent Robinson and Jason Witten. There is just one problem.
Why he would not: The Cowboys already have Tony Romo. You are probably wondering why I put them on the possible destination list right? Well, their owner is Jerry Jones and he wants to win now and will upgrade at any position at any cost if it will win him a few more games and Manning is an upgrade over Romo. This is a major wildcard team for Manning should he be free and they would have to be in the frontrunning if Jones is interested.
Why he would: This is a playoff team with Tim Tebow. With Manning they would be Super Bowl contenders. (Obligatory opinion time on Tim Tebow) I do not get why it is a miracle the Broncos won this game or when Tebow wins any game. He has his strengths and weaknesses like every athlete to play any sport. Yesterday the Steelers played a defense that suited Tebow’s strengths, which is throwing the ball down the field. The Steelers were keeping their safeties in to stop the run and by doing that they left their corners out to dry. The Steelers defense was also depleted by the time the game was over. There was no way the Broncos should have lost yesterday. I think it would have been more of a miracle if the Steelers won rather the Broncos.
Why he would not: He does not want to deal with the craziness of the media and Tebow disciples when they go crazy to start Tebow again when he throws his first interception.
Why he would: He would stay in the Colts division with the chance to stick it to his old team twice a year and be the face of a new era of Jaguars football.
Why he would not: He has no one to throw the ball to and he wants to play for a contender, which the Jaguars are not.
Why he would: Their owner Stpehen Ross would pay him whatever he wants and he would be able to play in South Beach. He could also bring over former Miami start Reggie Wayne with him to team up with Brandon Marshall and compete with Tom Brady twice a year.
Why he would not: I do not know why he would not jump at that possibility actually.
Why he would: He would stay indoors and play for a team with Adrian Peterson has it’s running back with a possible wide receiver tandem of Percy Harvin and Justin Blackman if they select him with their 3rd pick in the draft.
Why he would not: This is a 3-13 team. Remember the theme of wanting to contend for Super Bowls??
New York Jets
Why he would: He would play in the biggest market in sports and get to play Tom Brady twice. I am curious… Have Jets fans come to the realization that Mark Sanchez is not good yet??
Why he would not: Rex Ryan still believes in Mark Sanchez and Manning does not want to play outdoors in cold weather for half the year.
San Francisco 49ers
Why he would: He would be contending for Super Bowls and play for one of the hottest coaches in football with the chance to revive a great football market even more.
Why he would not: The Niners would not be able to offer him as much money as other teams and he would not want to deal with the weather conditions in San Francisco.
Why he would: I am not really sure there is any good reason for him to come here.
Why he would not: Bad weather conditions, limited offensive talent, not enough money…etc etc
Why he would: He would stay in his division and face the Colts twice a year and get to play with CJ2k and Kenny Britt.
Why he would not: Will not be winning championships here.
Why he would: Money….Money….Money…. There could be a money shootout in the NFC East between Dan Snyder and Jerry Jones this coming spring.
Why he would not: Redskins do not have much talent on offense to make any threat at a Super Bowl.
There you have it. To recap I think the Cardinals, Cowboys, Dolphins, 49ers, and Vikings would be the most intriguing to Peyton Manning. This is all fictional talk of course until the Colts decide what they will end up doing. The Colts would make the worst decision in the history of the NFL if they let Manning walk, but if they do, they would make one city and one organization’s dreams come true this coming spring. Until then all 12 teams I mentioned can dream happy thoughts.