Where Will Peyton Play Next Season?
Besides the Super Bowl, this has been the most talked about topic in the NFL.
It is no secret that Peyton Manning will likely be cut by the Colts next week, starting off the NFL off-season with a bang.
I have narrowed it down to 7 different choices and will use a percentage on how realistic I think each possibility is.
Retirement – 35%
Peyton is a very smart person and if his neck hasn’t properly healed, I do not seeing him risking his own health to prove a point.
Peyton is also very loyal to the Colts organization and to think of him in another team’s jersey is just too surreal to comprehend.
Washington Redskins – 5%
The Redskins are in desperate need of a quarterback. Rex Grossman and John Beck are not the short-term or long-term answer at quarterback for the Redskins.
They will not be able to draft a top-tier quarterback prospect because of their draft position. The only quick fix I see for Washington would be to try to sign Manning.
Mike Shanahan will finally have his elite quarterback and Manning instantly makes this a playoff team. The Redskins have a good young running back in Roy Helu Jr. who can run inside the tackles and the ability to catch balls out of the backfield.
Fred Davis and Chris Cooley instantly become top weapons in the Redskins offense and Santana Moss becomes even more dangerous. The Redskins defense is also much better than people think. The pressure is not ALL on Manning to perform because he will have a defense to back him up.
Tennessee Titans – 5%
Well this would be intriguing.
Can anyone picture Manning coming back to Lucas Oil Stadium as a division rival?
The Titans do not necessarily have a need here.
Hasselbeck is a good quarterback but if Peyton becomes avaliable, Hasselbeck becomes expendable. In addition, Jake Locker is still very raw and can take an extra year or two to sit back and develop while Manning plays.
Chris Johnson and Kenny Britt will NOT complain about this move. If Britt can stay healthy he will easily put up over 60 catches and 1,000 yards. Chris Johnson could return to his 2,000 yard rushing form and give Peyton a dynamic running attack he has lacked since Edgerrin James.
One last point, let’s not forget how loved Peyton is in Tennesee from his Volunteer days.
Arizona Cardinals – 10%
This would not be the first time Arizona signed a veteran quarterback who seemed to be at the end of their career.
Kurt Warner ring a bell?
Arizona always seems to overrate their young quarterbacks (Matt Leinart, Kevin Kolb) so why not dip into the veteran quarterback pool one more time?
Larry Fitzgerald at the head of the receiving corp with Beanie Wells in the backfield with Manning would give the Cardinals a solid trio. Arizona is in the NFC West, a very winnable division and the likelihood of running into the Colts is minimal. This could be the fast track back to the Super Bowl for Manning.
Miami Dolphins 40%
I believe this is the best fit for Peyton Manning right now.
However, I HATE THIS IDEA. (Jets Fans worst nightmare = Brady AND Manning)
Yet the more I think about it, the more it makes sense.
The Dolphins have good talent around the quarterback position on offense. Brandon Marshall is a beast. Add Manning to this equation and Marshall could become the most explosive receiver in the NFL.
Fasano is a good tight end and the offensive line is under-rated.
Another player who would benefit greatly from this move is Reggie Bush.
Even without Manning, Bush will likely excel in Head Coach Joe Philbin’s new offense. Adding Manning to the equation would only increase the impact Bush could make in this offense.
Joe Philbin is one of the arhitects of the prolific Green Bay offense we saw this season. Philbin with Manning/Marshall/Bush really makes this team a playoff contender and a force to be reckoned with.
In addition, Miami’s defense was ranked within the top 15, so this is one of the best situations Manning can fall into.
Peyton fits perfectly in Miami and is exactly what Miami needs to revive a dormant fan-base.
New York Jets – 1%
This would be pretty awesome if this were to happen.
I seriously doubt it will happen, though.
I do not think Peyton would want to come to a cold weather team and to a media market his brother currently occupies.
If it did happen, however, Santonio Holmes could shut up for the rest of the season and Dustin Keller could become one of the best tight ends in the league. The Jets also have one of the best offensive lines in the league to keep Peyton upright.
The question is, does Peyton want to come to the Jets after what has happened to this team over the past month?
Peyton be smart, this does not fit what you want.
San Francisco 49ers – 4%
I think this very unlikely, however Alex Smith is a free agent and Jim Harbaugh is a quarterback-friendly Head Coach.
However, the 49ers play a smashmouth-type football game and that does not mesh with what Peyton does. Alex Smith has also done enough to finally earn the starter spot in San Francisco.
With the 49ers solid defense, top-shelf weapons such as Frank Gore and Vernon Davis, and a weak division, this could be another fast-track to a Super Bowl appearance for Peyton.
I just don’t see it happening. Harbaugh seems like a loyal coach and I see him sticking with Alex Smith.
In my mind, I see the most likely scenarios being Peyton retiring or signing with the Dolphins.
Hopefully I’m wrong about the Dolphins prediction.