Well it has finally happened. No one thought the day would come. Peyton Manning is no longer an Indianapolis Colt. Over the last few months it had become quite apparent that this day might come but many were hoping, wishing, and even praying that the Indianapolis Colts would find a way to keep Peyton Manning on the team. However, the closer the deadline became, the more everyone realized that it was finally going to happen.
Peyton Manning is a free agent and instead of hoping that someone will pick him up, Peyton Manning will be interviewing teams. Manning will take the best situation for himself and what he wants to accomplish at this point in his career. Peyton Manning probably has three to four good playing years left in him. Knowing that, Peyton Manning will want to find the best situation to make it to the Super Bowl and win the whole thing. Peyton Manning does not have the luxury of going to a rebuilding team and hoping they can squeak into the playoffs on his coattails. Peyton Manning will not even consider teams like that as an option.
Everyone is wondering which teams are the best options for Peyton Manning and all of what he wants to accomplish over the next few years. After eliminating all the teams with true franchise quarterbacks, there are only a few teams that make real sense. The Miami Dolphins, Denver Broncos, New York Jets, Tennessee Titans, Arizona Cardinals, Washington Redskins, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers all make sense at some level. This of course is not looking at what kind of deal Peyton Manning could potentially work. I am just considering which team could benefit the most from the arrival of Peyton Manning.
Examining all of these possibilities the team that would give Peyton Manning to accomplish a Super Bowl right away would have been the New York Jets. I am not the biggest fan of Rex Ryan and his coaching methods but the New York Jets are one great quarterback away from going to the next level. Mark Sanchez aka “The Sanchize” is not the answer. Everyone knows it and so does Rex Ryan. It was apparent last year that Mark Sanchez is nothing more than a game manager. However, as of last night the New York Jets decided Mark Sanchez was their choice of the future and signed their quarterback to a contract extension worth 40.5 million. The Jets may think Sanchez is worth it, but I just do not see it.
Personally, I would love to see Peyton Manning on the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals have seen the failing of the Kevin Kolb Experiment and need a real franchise quarterback. Larry Fitzgerald is still one of the best recievers in the game. The Cardinals have Todd Heap at the tight end position who could return to top form with Manning throwing him the ball. In addition, the Arizona Cardinals defense is a young defense who is on the rise. Manning could do similar things to what Kurt Warner accomplished when he was the quarterback of the Arizona Cardinals.Manning might even be able to do the improbable and make the Cardinals Super Bowl contenders once again.
No matter how much we do our research and try to guess where Peyton lands, only Peyton Manning truly knows where his last stop will be. Any of the other NFL teams I named could end up being the place Peyton Manning decides to call home. Even though the Washington Redskins have moved up in the draft to take Robert Griffin III, I would not count them out of the running for a landing spot for manning. It would be a great situation to have Peyton Manning teaching Griffin III for 2 -3 years. The potential for that kind of mentoring situation would be truly sky high.
Of course, with all that being said we could have some surprise team show up to claim the coveted rights to Peyton Manning. The ride from now until the end of the courting match of Peyton Manning will be one to remember. We will have all sorts of speculations, some much crazier than others. Everyday we will hear more and more about what Peyton Manning is doing, who Peyton Manning is visiting, and which team has the edge. Whatever happens hopefully, Peyton Manning has more sense than to do something similar to the Lebron James “The Decision” fiasco.