|We've seen this cartoon before: player smiles, signs for big bucks, then underperforms, hates life. (CBSSports.com illustration)|
By Ryan Wilson
Peyton Manning is due a $28 million option bonus this spring. Given that he's 35, hasn't played a down this season (and likely won't), and that the Colts are perfectly positioned to draft Andrew Luck with the first overall pick, there's a chance that Manning won't be in Indianapolis in 2012.
We discussed it on Friday's Pick-6 Podcast:
With a month left in the regular season, there's plenty of speculation about future landing spots for Peyton should his career with the Colts come to an abrupt, inglorious end.
In the last week, no fewer than five national media types weighed in on where Manning could end up next season, and no fewer than five national media types mentioned the same team: the Washington Redskins.
Shocking, we know.
Here's the rundown (transcription and links via the Sports Bog's Dan Steinberg):
Michael Lombardi, NFL Network: [The Redskins have] a lot of money, a lot of availability, and oh, by the way, they really need a quarterback badly. They need a signature face on their franchise, and I think ultimately, that would be a great landing spot.
But the interesting factor here is Peyton Manning’s only played in three offenses: high school, at Tennessee, and when you look at Indianapolis. There’ve been three offenses, that’s it. If he goes somewhere, I would not be surprised if Tom Moore didn’t join him.
Chris Mortensen, ESPN: Ok, remember, we said that there’s still a big question mark of health. That’s something that nobody can speak to at this point. But if there’s a reasonable assurance that Peyton’s gonna be healthy, then who’s not gonna line up? The Washington Redskins are one obvious team. That’s unquestioned.
Adam Schefter, ESPN (appearing on Vinny Cerrato's Baltimore radio show): All you have to do is take a look around the league and say, who has a quarterback question? Who has a quarterback question? (“Washington,” Cerrato answers.)
Does Washington? Yes, Washington has a quarterback question. Does Miami have a quarterback question? Yes. Does Kansas City have a quarterback question? I think so. Does Cleveland have a quarterback question? Yes. I think Peyton Manning also is gonna dictate how this ends up and where he goes....I could see Washington involved, I could see Miami involved, I could see Cleveland involved. I could see maybe even — this is gonna sound ludicrous — but if Mark Sanchez flames out down the stretch, the Jets involved.
And here's syndicated radio host Dan Patrick from his show earlier in the week: “Looking at the scenarios [on where Peyton could end up], I’m not looking at sort of the obvious places, except for Washington, I understand that…"
But Patrick's guest, Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com, offered a very good reason for why Peyton-to-DC won't work:
“I think Peyton’s gonna want a team that pays him a ton of money and that has the pieces in place for him to be successful. And I don’t know that he’d want to go to Washington, because look at what’s in place there with Mike Shanahan and Kyle Shanahan," he said. "Kyle wants to run that offense like a little kid with a joystick on the sideline. He wants the quarterback to just do whatever Kyle Shanahan wants. I think Kyle Shanahan’s younger than Peyton Manning, so I don’t think that’s gonna go over well if Peyton and Kyle Shanahan are trying to co-exist.”
Just last week, Archie Manning told CBSSports.com's Will Brinson that he thought his son and Andrew Luck could work together. (Archie later stated that he didn't "think [having Luck and Peyton on the same roster] would necessarily be a great fit for either one," before clarifying those remarks by reiterating his original take. "I'm sure they could [work together]," he finally said.)
Of course, there's always the chance the Colts win out, get to 4-12, and in all likelihood, take themselves out of the running for Luck. A quick glance at the schedule suggests that won't happen: they face the Ravens Sunday, then the Titans, Texans and Jaguars.
So, yes, expect to be hearing more about this in the coming weeks and months. And who knows, maybe Peyton just retires and takes the Ole Miss job.
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