Blog Entry

Up to 12 teams contacted Peyton Manning Wednesday

Posted on: March 8, 2012 10:19 am
Edited on: March 8, 2012 3:29 pm
So ... many ... choices ... (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

On Wednesday, the Colts released Peyton Manning, a sentence that still seems weird to write.

Also on Wednesday, the Manning-to-Team-X rumor mill got chugging along nicely. It's believed that as many as a dozen NFL teams (12!) have been in contact with Manning's camp, or Manning's agent Tom Condon. However,'s NFL Insider Mike Freeman reported Thursday morning that some folks believe Manning's already narrowed his list. Freeman points to the Dolphins, Redskins and ... Broncos as the short list.

Peyton's Free Agency

But for the sake of really figuring out who's in play, let's break down the teams that could've/should've/might've contacted Manning on Wednesday. Follow the parenthesis for the full count.

49ers (X) general manager Trent Baalke told everyone that the 49ers are not interested in Manning. That doesn't technically preclude any contact on their part, but it does point to a low interest level.

Despite the presence of Tebowmania, the Broncos (1) are absolutely interested in Manning. See: Freeman's report, as well as a report from Mike Klis of The Denver Post Wednesday, in which Klis says the Broncos will check in with Manning but believes they will likely stick with Tebow. That's probably more as a result of striking out on Manning, but as Freeman notes, maybe they're in play after all.  

The Dolphins (2) are quite obviously interested. Our buddy Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post believes the Dolphins are in the pole position to land Manning. And there's good reason to think Volin is right, the least of which is that he's in South Beach right now. (Well, we assume he's still there.) Adding to the pressure of Miami, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat Twitter account are all recruiting/harassing Peyton.

Speaking of the AFC East, the Jets (3) are another divisional team purportedly in hot pursuit of Manning. Or purportedly "split" about whether or not they want to chase Manning. They do. They know it. The problem? They just don't think they can actually get him, so they're trying to play it cool.

The most obvious suitor? The Washington Redskins (4), who essentially feel like they're already drunk-dialing Condon to talk about Manning. What? That counts as an "aggressive" pursuit of a free agent.

Or maybe the Seahawks (5) are the most aggressive team ... only they're going about it quietly. Albert Breer of the NFL Network reported they'd be the first team on the phone with Peyton Wednesday, and Peter King and Jim Trotter of Sports Illustrated both believe John Schneider and Pete Carroll would be in hot pursuit of Manning. It's interesting, as Doug Farrar of Shutdown Corner notes, because Schneider said at the combine that he wasn't interested in "passing camp" quarterbacks.

Thursday, Adam Schefter of ESPN named a couple additional teams as well. Most notably, he cited the Chiefs (6) as a suitor for Manning. They make a lot of sense. Schefter also listed the Titans (7) as a team that contacted Manning, but that goes contrary to what they said they'd do. Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean also reports that the Titans have not (6) had contact with Manning.

That's six teams, which is a lot. And yes, I'm ignoring the Titans. I'm also ignoring the Texans, who were already ruled out by King. So who are the other six teams?

The Cardinals (7) are a team that we haven't mentioned yet, but they're still my favorite to land Manning. They have a limited window to land Manning because of the Kevin Kolb roster bonus due on March 17, and they can't be too public about their pursuit of Manning (well, Darnell Dockett can). But maybe they don't have to be public about anything: Manning has reportedly put out his own "feelers" to talk with the Cards. It probably has nothing to do with Larry Fitzgerald.

Then there's a slew of cruddy teams that we should add off the bat: the Browns (8), the Bills (9) and the Jaguars (10) are all teams with quarterbacks. But they're also teams with quarterbacks who are not Peyton Manning. And if the respective GMs of those clubs didn't at least call and say "Hey, would he be interested in playing in our city for our team?" then they should be jailed for negligence.

So we need a pair of sleepers now. Let's rule out the rest of the AFC; for one reason or another, everyone has a quarterback. Let's also rule out the NFC East. We've already included the NFC West, sans the Rams. Only one team from the NFC South and the NFC North needs a quarterback.

So only two teams remain: the Vikings (11) and the Buccaneers (12). OK, Christian Ponder and Josh Freeman are both recent first-round picks, but this is Peyton Manning we're talking about. They'd be nuts not to at least inquire through backchannels if there was any possible interest.

If you think I missed someone, leave em in the comments. Or argue why your team deserves Manning.

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Since: Jul 28, 2011
Posted on: March 8, 2012 12:44 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Mar 6, 2012
Posted on: March 8, 2012 12:34 pm
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Since: Mar 16, 2008
Posted on: March 8, 2012 12:20 pm

Up to 12 teams contacted Peyton Manning Wednesday

I think Peyton Manning is one of the top 3 QB's of all time and love to watch him play. That being said I think it is a bad idea for a team to invest a great deal of money into a guy who will probably get hurt quickly and be out. For Manning's sake the guy should retire as a Colt and keep his legacy. If he goes to a team and plays mediocre it will hurt his image. Be better then the game Peyton and go out as on top and leave people wondering just like Jim Brown and Barry Sanders. Don't be the next Brett Favre jumping from team to team you are better than that tool.

Since: Jan 18, 2008
Posted on: March 8, 2012 12:14 pm

Up to 12 teams contacted Peyton Manning Wednesday

nice job JK

Since: Oct 31, 2008
Posted on: March 8, 2012 12:03 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: March 8, 2012 11:54 am

Up to 12 teams contacted Peyton Manning Wednesday

We don't want Manning in Arizona. Let him sign with Miami.

Since: Apr 23, 2009
Posted on: March 8, 2012 11:46 am

Up to 12 teams contacted Peyton Manning Wednesday

Since: Aug 21, 2007
Posted on: March 8, 2012 11:46 am

Up to 12 teams contacted Peyton Manning Wednesday

Retire already! One big hit this dudes in a wheelchair .

Since: Apr 23, 2009
Posted on: March 8, 2012 11:45 am

Up to 12 teams contacted Peyton Manning Wednesday

@JKSausage- While I agree with many of your points, I do believe their are a few of the most important factors that I'm not quite sure they will/can provide...

1) Peyton probably would like to win, and have potential to win immediately with his limited time left. Miami's track record the last decade doesn't exactly provide much evidence that the front office will make this happen. What are they willing to do to make this team better than the Patriots/Tom Brady and the Jets in a very short amount of time? This to me is the most important factor the media has seemed to overlook, with all the annual Brady vs. Manning comparisons I think he needs to be convinced they'll do whatever he needs to win. Coming off that neck surgery, starting over from scratch, leaves a lot of risk in terms of his legacy so I'm sure he'll want to know that if he excels individually he will have all tools necessary to beat the Pats.

2) I think commiting to his demand in terms of # of years is more important than annual salary, doubt he wants to do this all over again so how long are they willing to stick with Manning? Same question applies to any team in pursuit.

3) Your "skill players" analysis is a little much though. Manning never had stellar RBs, he just needs someone to catch the ball so sure Bush would be nice, but he's no major selling point. B Marshall is a great talent when medicated properly, but then who? They need to sign Wayne or someone similiar and a better TE.

Should be interesting to see how this all pans out, personally I would have liked to see SF show interest, I think he'd immediately push them to Super Bowl contender but reports show that isn't the case. I don't think the Cards have a shot, as I don't see anyone negotiating a deal by the time Kolb is due his bonus in 9 days. Skins and Jets aren't happening, unless he wants to compete with Eli? And I'd say SEA is a darkhorse, guess we'll see....

Since: Mar 8, 2012
Posted on: March 8, 2012 11:42 am

Up to 12 teams contacted Peyton Manning Wednesday

Baltimore Ravens!!!!!   (I am a Bears fan)

Before getting into the salary cap on the surface Baltimore makes the most sense. Jim Harbaugh won't meddle in the offense , you have a dynamic running back who you franchised this year and would make sense to franchise next year. Ray Lewis and Ed Reed are at the end of there careers, so a two year Peyton Manning window can work. Joe Flacco is not worth the money he wants and Baltimore will live to regret paying him top 5-7 money. Maybe he would be worth a draft pick. Maybe you bring in Jeff Saturday for that two year window. Reggie Wayne , you released Lee Evans and have Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith already in place bringing in Reggie Wayne would make a formidable WR core and again Anquan Boldin not getting younger a two year window. If Dallas Clark becomes available two year window. It's the city that Johnny Unitas played.

Pittsbugh is taking a step back this year , if I'm Baltimore I'm pushing all in on a 2-3 year veteran run.
Ozzie better start restructuring contracts.

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