Friday, March 9, 2012

Where Is Peyton's Place?

Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts announced this week that they were parting ways ...

... which launched a mad scramble among all but a handful of the NFL teams for his services.

Some teams are more serious contenders than others, but there is no doubt that most of the teams in the NFL could use a quarterback. He wouldn't have to be a surefire Hall of Famer ... but, hey, as long as Peyton Manning isn't doing anything, anyway ...

ESPN reports that sources are saying Manning will make up his mind in the next few days. A dozen teams have made overtures to Manning's representatives — of those, ESPN says Arizona, Seattle, Washington, Miami, Kansas City, Denver and the New York Jets have been in direct contact with them.

But Vinnie Iyer of The Sporting News writes that Manning isn't interested in playing for the Redskins.

And, even though he admits Manning in a Broncos uniform is "difficult to envision," I get the feeling that Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post would like to see it happen.

But he says there are at least three reasons why it isn't likely:
  1. "Broncos coach John Fox plus Manning equals a bad mix."

  2. "Pat Bowlen would rather let some other franchise owner bet millions on Manning's health."

  3. "Deep down, [John] Elway realizes Denver is closer to being a 6–10 team than a 10–6 team."

    Kiszla doesn't argue that Manning is not one of the greatest quarterbacks ever to play in the NFL. He just points out there are more pressing needs for a franchise that apparently wants to rebuild the foundation that took it to five Super Bowls when Elway was the field general.
At this point, I suppose, it really is anyone's guess where Manning will wind up.

Common sense says some teams are more likely than others — Green Bay and New Orleans, for instance, are surely out of the running — but there are still some intriguing possibilities out there.

For example, it would be very interesting if Manning signed with the Jets. Then he would be in competition with his multiple Super Bowl–winning brother Eli for the affections of the Big Apple's football fans.

I have a good friend who would undoubtedly like to see Manning in a Kansas City uniform. Don't be too quick to dismiss the notion, either. The Chiefs do have something of a history of signing castoff quarterbacks — remember when Joe Montana took them to the AFC championship after being let go by San Francisco?

The Cardinals have been even more successful. They signed Kurt Warner after he left the Rams — and Warner took the Cardinals to the Super Bowl.

The only thing I'm sure of, at this point, is that someone will sign Manning. I just don't know who.

Stay tuned.

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