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Not many times in sports history has a free agent had the power entering free agency that Peyton Manning has this week.
The only other one that comes to mind is LeBron James two years ago. Manning is being sought after by 12 teams right now, that’s almost one third of the entire NFL.
Manning has made it clear he is going to be signed on a team by this time next week.
The Cleveland Browns have two first round picks in the upcoming NFL draft, and it’s safe to say they won’t become s Superbowl contender by acquiring Manning; so it would be smarter for them to continue to stay young and rebuild, maybe by trading up in the draft for Robert Griffin III.
Seven teams have already been in contact with Manning including the Denver Broncos, the Seattle Seahawks, the Arizona Cardinals, the New York Jets, the Miami Dolphins, the Washington Redskins, and the Kansas City Chiefs.Looking at these seven teams, who is the best fit for Peyton Manning? Let’s break it down:
Manning already has a home in Miami, which would make the move there extremely comfortable. Miami owner Stephen Ross has plenty of money to spend on Peyton Manning, and he loves star power. Matt Flynn is another quarterback who has been talked about in Miami, but Ross is known for bringing in stars and would love nothing more than to bring in Peyton Manning for the next three or four years.
On the field, the Dolphins have a young defense that ranked 6th in points allowed per game last season, and they are only going to get better. Manning would have one of the best deep threats in the league in Brandon Marshall, and he would have an extremely versatile Reggie Bush running the ball and catching the ball out of the backfield. The Dolphins have a new head coach in Joe Philbin, who was formerly the offensive coordinator of the Green Bay Packers, which would seem like a possible great relationship because he ran a similar offense in Green Bay that Manning ran in Indianapolis.
Manning to Larry Fitzgerald is a scary thought for the rest of the NFL; and Manning has played indoors for his entire NFL career which makes the Cardinals seem attractive. Reggie Wayne, who is a free agent, said he would consider playing with Manning again if there was a right fit. Manning, Fitzgerald, and Reggie Wayne? Tim Hightower and Beanie Wells are two solid Running backs.
The Cardinals have an alright defense that can win games if enough points are put up on the board. It would seem weird that the Cardinals would try and get a new Quarterback after trading for Kolb last year and giving him big money, but let’s be honest he didn’t live up to the hype last year and it seems they are already ready to move on.
The Denver Broncos have a good defense, not as good as you may think because they carried Tim Tebow through his “amazing run” last season, but with the right Quarterback putting up a lot of points this is an intriguing fit. General Manager John Elway has made it pretty clear that he’s not completely ready to give Tebow his team, and Manning is definitely the stereotypical Quarterback that Elway would want to run his team.
Demaryius Thomas is a third year Wide Receiver that proved last season to be a real weapon and potential future star, and Willis McGahee is still a solid running back. The Broncos also have a very good Offensive line. But if they signed Manning they would almost have to get rid of Tebow, unless they wanted to open up Pandora’s Box.
New York Jets:
The Jets are a very interesting possibility. They would no doubt be a Superbowl contender with Peyton Manning, but would Manning and Ryan be a good fit? Besides Manning doing comedic TV commercials, Manning is the type of Quarterback that goes about his business and lets his play do the talking. He would also be in the same stadium as his brother Eli, and it seems like he wants to stay away from the “Manning, Manning” thing.
The Jets imploded at the end of last year, with Santonio Holmes being used as a scapegoat by almost everyone in the locker room including Rex Ryan; Quarterback Sanchez has continued to disappoint leaving the question: is he the right quarterback for the Jets?; and their second best defensive player, Bart Scott (behind Revis), has publicly made it known that he might not want to play for the Jets next season.
It seems like a horrible fit for the “go about his business” Manning, but Manning could be exactly what that locker room needs to push that team over the edge by bringing in a true leader and flipping their “talk first” culture upside down.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs are a young team that were 11-5 before their quarterback went down. If Jamaal Charles recovers well from his torn ACL he is one of the best running backs in the league. They just put the franchise tag on Dwayne Bowe who with the right Quarterback has star receiver potential. Another plus is the Chiefs division is semi-weak. Overall the Broncos and the Chargers were down last year and the Raiders are suspect. Scott Pioli is a great drafter and he has built that defense up the past couple years and will continue to do so.
On first look the Chiefs might not look like an attractive pick, but they would be a serious threat with Peyton Manning.
Manning has said two things that don’t bode well for the Redskins: one that he’d rather play in the AFC, and two he doesn’t know if he would want to be in the same division as his brother Eli having to play him twice a year in the regular season and have to deal with the media overblow of “Manning vs. Manning.”
Shanahan is a proven master of the running game, and has won with a Hall of Fame Quarterback before (John Elway); but it is unknown if Shanahan would be willing to give up some of his power on the play calling front. Tight End’s Fred Davis and Chris Cooley are great weapons on the offense and Manning love tight ends that can run, but they are both free agents right now and even though at least one of them will most likely be re-signed, that’s still a question mark.
The Seahawks are one of those teams that have been on the brink of being a good team the past couple years, seemingly just needing a Quarterback to put them over the edge. Winning seven games with Tarvaris Jackson is actually pretty impressive.
They just signed Running back Marshawn Lynch to a long term deal, solidifying their running game for the next four years. They have some long receivers with Mike Williams having resurgence last year reuniting with his college coach Pete Carroll.
But like the Redskins the Seahawks are in the NFC and have a lot of question marks.
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