A breakdown of all the possible Peyton Manning destinations.

Peyton Manning. Many are calling him the biggest free agent to ever hit the market. As soon as he was released by the Colts, there was a reported 12 teams that had already called about Manning. With a sure Hall of Famer like him on the market, any team who doesn’t have a Pro Bowler at quarterback has to even be a little intrigued even if he’s coming off 4 neck surgeries. The rumors have reached from Denver to Miami and every team is going all in for him. The Redskins and Jets can be assumed to be out of the race with the Jets giving Mark Sanchez an extension and the Redskins most likely drafting Robert Griffin III. So with those two out, here’s a breakdown of the rest of the teams in the race and ultimately where I believe the best destination is.

Denver Broncos

With the reports coming out of a Peyton Manning visit in Denver(and a weird ESPN camera following his car), I started thinking of what I would do in Peyton Manning’s shoes. If I was Peyton Manning, there is no chance that I would go to Denver. For starters, there are better opportunities and better teams out there. More importantly though, the Broncos have a guy named Tim Tebow. No, I’m not going to tell you Tebow is better than Peyton Manning but every sports fan knows how crazy the people in Denver are about Tebow and if Manning started to struggle he would see the same fate as Kyle Orton. Yes, I believe the media and fans in Denver would push out Manning for Tebow. The Broncos being a playoff team last year is decieving considering how bad of shape this team is in. They have one of the worst recieving cores in the NFL and Willis McGahee is old and isn’t going to be able to put together another year like he did last year. Denver is also a colder city and for the old Manning he has been linked to a lot of warmer weather cities.  If I’m Peyton Manning, I’d stay away from Denver.

 

Houston Texans

The rumors of the Texans being interested in Peyton Manning confuses me. They made the playoffs without there starting QB last year but when Matt Schaub returns for the Texans I think they will be a serious contender in the AFC. The rumor most likely comes from the fact that the Texans play in the same division as Peyton’s old team, but I don’t see him going to Houston. Although the weapons there could be as good as he’ll see. Going to play in Houston is highly unlikely and the rumors are probably just that. They are almost as confusing as…

Dallas Cowboys

Although this shouldn’t be confusing or surprising at all. Any move is possible as long as Jerry Jones is owner/GM. For the Cowboys to pursue Manning would be a huge mistake. Tony Romo is coming off his best season and will be around much longer than Peyton. He’ll also be playing better than Peyton for the years that you get him, but that’s one mans opinion.

Kansas City Chiefs

Along the same lines as the situation in Houston, I’m not sure why Kansas City would be interested in Manning. For Manning, he would get to play with Jamaal Charles who is one of the best runningbacks in the league when healthy along with a strong recieving core. I don’t understand this from the point of view of the Chiefs front office though, because they have a good quarterback in Matt Cassel who they signed to a big contract in 2009. If I was Kansas City I would stay away from Manning and go forward with Cassel.

 

Arizona Cardinals

Now we’re getting into the best options, in my opinion. If Peyton were to go to the Cardinals, he would be playing a a warm weather stadium and in a dome. He would have one of the best three WR’s in the league in Larry Fitzgerald and Beanie Wells who is a good, underrated runningback. He would also get the opportunity to play in one of the worst divisions in the NFL. Going to Arizona and playing with the Cardinals would be a great decision for Peyton to make.

Miami Dolphins

Since Peyton Manning became a free agent, Miami is probably the team he has been linked to the most and with good reason. The Dolphins have an obvious hole at the position and they play in Miami. A nice warm place would be great for Manning and the weapons around him will be as good as they can get with Reggie Bush coming off a 1,000 yard season and Brandon Marshall who would love to have a great QB again. If I’m Peyton Manning, I’d take a good long look at Miami and consider joining the trend of “taking my talents to South Beach”.

San Fransisco 49’ers

The most intriguing option available, the 49’ers were a game away from the Super Bowl last year and I wouldn’t say they have a franchise QB in place. They have by far the best defense out of any of the teams going after Manning and to have a defense this good would be something he hasn’t had his whole career. A problem with San Fransisco though, would be the weak WR core. Along with Denver, the 49’ers have one of the worst WR cores in the NFL although Manning has been known to make good recievers out of guys who are average at best.

With all of these options available, the decision for Peyton Manning is a hard one. It’s also hard for the teams that are pursuing him, as they have no idea how well his neck is healed and what Peyton Manning you are getting next year. If I’m Peyton Manning though, and I’m making a decision on where to play next season, I’m going to play for the Arizona Cardinals.

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3 Responses to A breakdown of all the possible Peyton Manning destinations.

  1. Deb says:

    Nice write up. I bet Tebow hasn’t slept a wink thru this all

  2. Pingback: NFL Free Agency Notes: 3/12/12 « Cries from the Crowd

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