Well, the inevitable happened —the Indianapolis Colts released quarterback Peyton Manning.
The move is not a shocker. The man was set to get paid $28 million (kudos to his agent), his health was in question, and they have the heir apparent ready to come to town with the first pick in the draft this year. You’re talking a major chunk of change for a guy that may or may not play while the team will also have to pay whoever they take with the No 1 pick a good chunk of change.
Over the weekend the decision had gotten a lot tougher when a bunch of stories broke saying that Peyton had his strength back and was making all the right throws, but in the end he was still a 14-year veteran with health issues—it was time to move on.
That leads us to the multi-million dollar question—where will Peyton Manning play next year?
There are a number of potential suitors vying for the services of the future hall of fame QB and four-time NFL MVP. Assuming that he does play as expected, he is going to go to some one that he thinks he can lead to a Super Bowl. Not all the teams believed to be interested in Manning would become contenders even with him, but here they all are:
Arizona Cardinals: these guys are my front-runner. Can you imagine the kind of season that Larry Fitzgerald will have with Manning tossing him the ball? If they don’t make it to the Big Game they’ll at least set some records.
Miami Dolphins: If Manning does not go to Arizona he’ll go here. The ‘Fins have a good running game, a strong defense, and a heck of a playmaker in Brandon Marshall. Can you imagine what would happen if Manning brought Reggie Wayne with him? Unbeatable people!
New York Jets: not likely, but it would be fun. If Peyton would actually go to the Big Apple the ensuing rivalry with his little brother would be funny, but the Jets are too dysfunctional for Manning. It would be a shocker if he ended up here.
San Francisco 49ers: this could be a great move (strong defense, good weapons on offense) for Manning, but I hope it doesn’t happen. Alex Smith is a good quarterback that has not gotten a break of any kind in San Fran till Jim Harbaugh came to town. Smith deserves at least a second season under Harbaugh before being cut loose.
Washington Redskins: They don’t really have a standout player on offense. Santana Moss would be the closest thing they have to a playmaker, but he’s too inconsistent. Manning could make these guys a .500 team at best (that’s how much help they need).
Kansas City Chiefs: These guys do have some playmakers on offense, but I doubt there is enough to entice Manning into coming to town. With the change in coaching, I think he would see that Chiefs as too much of a wild card; he would not know exactly what he was getting in to.
Cleveland Browns: The Browns are probably the least talented team in the list. Manning would have no reason to come to Cleveland other than to get a cameo on The Drew Carey Show—wait, that’s been cancelled. Okay, forget Cleveland.
Article by Travis Pulver