The Peyton Manning Sweepstakes -V4.0 (Post-Redskins Trade)

The Peyton Manning Sweepstakes – V4.0 (Post-Redskins Trade)
Byron Lambert,

Photo Credit

(I found this pic on the awesome r/NFL Subreddit)

As predicted here, the Washington Redskins moved all in on RG3 and secured the 2nd pick of the draft via trade. The New York Jets must have gotten the word Manning wasn’t interested. They signed QB Mark Sanchez to an extension today. Thus, The Peyton Manning Sweepstakes V4.0:

Arizona Cardinals – 18%
3/8/12 – 11%
3/4/12 – 7%
2/20/12 – 8%

The fact that they signed Kevin Kolb to a big contract last year could be a deal breaker. Larry Fitzgerald and Ken Whisenhunt have to be very interested. The weak division theory is also in play. #11 at WR and that dry heat would do wonders for his neck. Peyton would also have to be very interested as well. The Kurt Warner experiment was a success.
** Update – 2 words: Larry Fitzgerald (the retractable roof doesn’t hurt either)

Denver Broncos – 16%
3/8/12 – 7%
3/4/12 – 2%
2/20/12 – 2%

In a weak division with that defense Denver would be a nice fit. Feels like a destination Manning would enjoy. I’m sure it will cross Elway’s mind. Is it possible to overcome Tebow-Mania though?
** Update – Forget Tebow-Mania. Denver is trying to make a huge move. We’ve said all along this is a great fit on paper. Does the weather play in to this decision? Oh, they don’t have Larry Fitzgerald either.

Miami Dolphins – 13%
3/4/12 – 8%
2/20/12 – 6%

The Dolphins will probably be pretty avid in their pursuit of Manning. They should be, they would be pretty good with him. I just don’t see it. I don’t think Peyton will have any interest in playing with Brandon Marshall. Manning is the king of stability and the Dolphins franchise has been anything but since owner Stephen Ross took over. I also believe Coach Philbin wants to captain his own ship and would prefer Matt Flynn.
** Update -They keep rising. Not the media “favorite” anymore. I still don’t think Manning wants to play with Marshall.

Kansas City Chiefs – 13%
3/8/12 – 13%
3/4/12 – 9%
2/20/12 – 5%

Feels like a sleeper destination that you won’t hear anyone talk about. A relatively talented roster with plenty of offensive weapons. Also in a weak division. Great football town and this wouldn’t be a first, there was a guy named Joe Montana.
** Update – Still my favorite sleeper destination for Peyton just not much of a sleeper anymore. This idea is gaining huge momentum with Chiefs fans and the mainstream media alike. KC literally has a TON of cap room and are in position to win now.

Seattle Seahawks – 13%
3/8/12- 13%
3/4/12 – 8%
2/20/12 – 5%

They went after Tarvaris Jackson last year and also signed Charlie Whitehurst to a big deal. But still? Feels very Pete Carrollish. He already has a decent defense. Even with the 49ers emergence this is still a weak division that would offer Manning playoff opportunities.
** Update – Pete Carroll gave me the “Ozzie Newsome” when asked about it. A big F#%K You. He wouldn’t say no though. Seattle is looking for a HUGE offseason. The defense is good and the offense is not established. Carroll could easily hand over the keys to the offense to Peyton. Also, a potential destination for Wayne. If the ‘Hawks go after Mario Williams it will show Manning their commitment to winning now. The more I think about this the more I like it.

San Francisco 49ers – 9%
3/8/12- 4%
3/4/12 – 7%
2/20/12 – 8%

I love this move the most. The Niners are the best fit. All the pieces are there and they could be scary good. I’m afraid last year’s results will obligate them to another year of Alex Smith.
** Update – Tony Dungy also thinks this is the best fit for Peyton. Not a peep out of SF but they would be downright frightening with Peyton at the wheel. Would Jim Harbaugh acquiesce?

Houston Texans – 9%
3/8/12- 4%
3/4/12 – 1%
2/20/12 – 2%

I think Houston is happy with their current situation and rightfully so. It would be such a GOOD fit though! Schaub’s health is still up in the air and you have to believe after battling Manning within the division all of these years that Texans management has immense respect for Peyton. Not a bad way to remove the “thorn” in your side.
** Update – I am officially putting the Texans in the 49ers category.

Cleveland – 3%
3/8/12- 3%
3/4/12 – 2%
2/20/12- 2%

I’m not sure Manning would be very interested but Mike Holmgren certainly might be. The only team in a tough division without legitimate QB play. Does the whole “west coast offense” thing matter?
** Update – They figure out Washington will beat them to RG3 and that Trent Richardson will be a great consolation. So they pitch Peyton Manning and Reggie Wayne. With an emerging defense this is an interesting destination yet still unlikely as Peyton wants to win now.

Baltimore Ravens – 3%
3/8/12- 3%
3/4/12 – 2%
2/20/12 – 3%

The Ravens may be the poster child for the “one player away” idea. Ray Lewis is on borrowed time. As much as he says he loves Flacco how could Lewis not support bringing Manning in? Heck, he might even push for it. There is a brewing contract situation with Flacco.
** Update – The Ravens say they are in contract talks with Flacco and that they want him for 7 more yr. I’ll buy it when I see it. I would be super pissed if I was a Ravens fan and they didn’t seriously consider Manning. It is interesting this still hasn’t officially been shot down. Baltimore also says they are looking WR in this draft. Reggie Wayne would make that offense nasty.

Jacksonville Jaguars – 1%
3/8/12- 2%
3/4/12 – 2%
2/20/12 – 4%

Doesn’t sound like a likely destination but the Jags are far from settled at QB and have plenty of familiarity with Manning. I’m not sure how much that familiarity would play in to Manning’s decision. Does the big new Mustache in town want to make a big splash? I think Peyton would go to Houston to win but would he go to Jacksonville to crack Indy upside the head twice a year? A La Brett Favre?
** Update – Another team that could take on the Manning/Wayne combo. MJD, warm weather, and divisional familiarity. If coach Rivera can sell the defense and the Jags offer a ton of money who knows? It still seems like a long shot.

Buffalo Bills – 1%
3/8/12 – 2%
3/4/12 – 1%
2/20/12 – 1%

The rest of the AFC East will be in the race. Why not the Bills? Might as well drive the price up for Miami and New York. Its always fun thinking about Manning and Brady playing in the same division. The Bills have a decent team and Buffalo loves the “no huddle”. Ralph Wilson does have a history, making waves by landing Terrell Owens a few years ago. There is the whole hang up with the Ryan Fitzpatrick contract but the Bills do have a ton of cap room. Doesn’t seem like a great fit for Manning personally.
** Update – The Bills have a lot of cap room and could offer serious coin. They will make an informal pitch to gauge Manning’s interest if the money is right. Could also be a landing spot for Wayne.

Dallas Cowboys – 1%
3/8/12- 1%
3/4/12 – 1%
2/20/12 – 2%

There is always  a 1% chance when it comes to Jerry Jones. The Cowboys seem pretty set with Romo but there is a widespread belief they are  “one player away”.
** Update – The Cowboys are backing Romo and there is no evidence Dallas has interest. Still.


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