Blog Entry

Much has to happen for Manning to land with Cards

Posted on: January 23, 2012 7:05 pm
 
Could Whisenhunt and Manning share the same sideline in 2012? (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

Kevin Kolb was traded to the Cardinals almost six months ago. The team was in desperate need of something resembling a quarterback after Kurt Warner retired following the 2009 season, and Derek Anderson, Max Hall and John Skelton took turns looking completely lost in that capacity in 2010. At the time, we thought that Arizona gave up too much for Kolb. (They sent cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round pick to Philly, then signed Kolb to a five-year, $63 million -- $20 million guaranteed -- contract extension.) As the regular-season progressed and Kolb struggled with consistency and injuries, Arizona came to the same conclusion.

Neither coaches nor front-office types came out and admitted it, but they didn't need to. Kolb played in nine games, missed seven more with injuries, and finished the season throwing for 1,955 yards (57.7 completion percentage), 9 touchdowns, 8 interceptions and taking 30 sacks.

By comparison, Skelton, the second-year backup made seven starts, threw for 1,913 yards (54.9 completion percentage), 11 touchdowns, 14 interceptions and took 24 sacks.

Statistically, not much difference between the starter and the guy behind him on the depth chart -- until you compare their salaries. According to Sportrac.com, Kolb counted $4,000,000 against the Cardinals' 2011 cap (it increases to $10 million in '12 and $13 million in '13); Skelton came in slightly less than that at $450,500.

It's understandable that the Cardinals might a) have reservations about Kolb's future and b) consider other options starting, well, now.

Arizona Republic beat reporter Kent Somers wrote Monday about the recent speculation that the Cardinals would have great interest in Peyton Manning should the Colts decide to move forward without him. CBS Sports' Charley Casserly mentioned this two weeks ago.

"One team to watch (should Manning become available)? The Arizona Cardinals," Casserly said at the time. "They can get out of the Kevin Kolb contract and also Ken Whisenhunt's been down this road before. A veteran quarterback coming in at the end of his career? Kurt Warner."

Somers is quite certain the Cards would be interested in Manning because "The entire NFL, minus the obvious few, will go after Peyton if the Colts dump him."

Fair point. Somers then went through the logistical gymnastics that would be required before an Arizona-Manning marriage could take place:
No. 1. Manning has to be healthy enough to play after missing 2011 with a neck problem. That's no small hurdle.

No. 2. The Colts must decide to release Manning. As Darren Urban of azcardinals.com wrote, Manning is due a roster bonus of $28 million on March 8. Kevin Kolb is due a $7 million roster bonus on March 17. For obvious reasons, releasing Manning would not be an easy decision for Colts owner Jim Irsay.

No. 3. If Manning is released, numerous teams will express interest. But how many of those places will be attractive to Manning. This is, I think, where the Cardinals could have an advantage. Throwing to Larry Fitzgerald has to be an attractive prospect. With Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams, the Cardinals have two talented young running backs. There are questions on the offensive line, however. The Cardinals' defense was stout over the last half of the season. Under Whisenhunt, the Cardinals have proven they are willing to throw the ball and to mold their offense around the strengths of an older quarterback.
In general, investing heavily in guys on the downside of great careers isn't the most efficient way to sustain organizational success from one year to the next. But Whisenhunt had Warner fall into his lap and they were one play away from a Lombardi Trophy. If Arizona has the chance to land Manning, they have to dump Kolb and do it, right? Because based on what we saw in 2011, the alternative, in all likelihood, is neither efficient nor successful.

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Comments

Since: Jul 27, 2011
Posted on: January 23, 2012 11:36 pm
 

Much has to happen for Manning to land with Cards

Avenger, I think you're right on target--unless the timing is wrong. New management and the old owner may well not be ABLE to know his health for sure come March. Do you roll the dice and spend $28 million only to find out he can't do it later--after the season Indy had?  Likewise, do you save the money, cut him, and watch him be Warner part II--again, after the season you had?  I'm guessing Indy WON'T know his status until he's cleared to do real football activity, and right now, no one seems to know if THAT is even possible, let alone by March. So how badly does someone ELSE want that risk? If Indy cuts him, then other team doctors can take a look. In the end, I think THAT is what may decide Manning's fate--and the big deals come after the $28 million deadline.



Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: January 23, 2012 10:40 pm
 

Much has to happen for Manning to land with Cards

When are people going to come to relization that if Peyton can play it will be in Indy. If he's not in Indy its because they know something and if they don't want him any other team would be foolish to think that Peyton can be a starter for them



Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: January 23, 2012 10:35 pm
 

Much has to happen for Manning to land with Cards

Red Wings 1969, just by saying the 49'ers would be contenders for years to come shows how idiotic your thinking is. The man is what, 35, coming off of a serious neck injury. Let's assume the man comes back and plays for the 49'ers, realistically, how many years would he be able to give them?? All the while, you sat down Alex Smith who went 13-3 and helped get your team to the NFC championship game. I really think he'd prefer to remain with Indianapolis, likely as a starter, who would mentor Andrew Luck.

Notwhatuthink.  You don't have to agree with me but who are you to tell me my thinking is idiotic?  First of all the neck injury is serious but if the fusion works it works.  A family member of ours just had an almost identical surgery.  If the surgery takes, his neck will be just as strong as your neck or mine will ever be.   How long could he play?  I don't know, how long did Favre play?  Thinking as long as he's healthy Peyton could have another 4 or 5 good years in him. 

As for Alex Smith, you call my argument idiotic and then you say that?  Did you watch any SF games this year or are you just talking out of your ass?  A good o-line, a 2000 yard running game, a top 5 defense in overall yards, a number 1 defense against the run and a passing defense that held opposing qb's to a passer rating of 73 had a lot to do with that 13-3 record.  Ask the Jets and Mark Sanchez what happens to a mediocre qb when everything else doesn't fall into place.  Sanchez went from hero to goat in 2 years and might be out of a job soon.  If anything goes wrong in SF and Smith is forced to throw more and take more chances down field his stats will die and they won't be winning 13 with him at qb.

 



Since: Dec 29, 2011
Posted on: January 23, 2012 10:11 pm
 

Much has to happen for Manning to land with Cards

Alex Smith had a 61.3 completion percentage, threw 17 touchdowns and only 5 picks. He made significant adjustments and made far fewer mistakes. Yes, Frank Gore was significant, just as Roger Craig was back in the 80's. Stop failing to give credit where credit is due.



Since: Jan 22, 2007
Posted on: January 23, 2012 10:02 pm
 

Much has to happen for Manning to land with Cards

The 49ers won't get Peyton Manning.  I'm honestly not sure if Peyton Manning would be willing to play Harbaugh's offense, or if Harbaugh would be willing to tear out what he installed this year to make way for Manning's style.  I question how they would co-exist, and on top of it the 49ers have a lot of their own free agents to juggle and get paid before they can worry about fitting Manning under the cap.  I just can't see it happening when Harbaugh's put this much faith in Alex Smith already.

Plus, I really don't like getting older QB's for only a few years; it stunts the development of sustained growth (which the 49ers overall are young enough to be thinking about) and typically fails.



Since: Dec 29, 2011
Posted on: January 23, 2012 9:52 pm
 

Much has to happen for Manning to land with Cards

I think SF would be a GREAT place for Manning to play football and would instantly make the 49'ers contenders for years to come.
Red Wings 1969, just by saying the 49'ers would be contenders for years to come shows how idiotic your thinking is. The man is what, 35, coming off of a serious neck injury. Let's assume the man comes back and plays for the 49'ers, realistically, how many years would he be able to give them?? All the while, you sat down Alex Smith who went 13-3 and helped get your team to the NFC championship game. I really think he'd prefer to remain with Indianapolis, likely as a starter, who would mentor Andrew Luck.



Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: January 23, 2012 9:46 pm
 

Much has to happen for Manning to land with Cards

Why are people so quick to dump Alex Smith? They went 13-3 and lost in OT in the NFC Championship. They need WR help. They have a perfectly capable QB. The  needs to be spent on WR help not on Manning

They didn't go 13-3 because of Alex Smith, they went 13-3 because of all the things I mentioned in my other post.  A great D that stayed healthy, a solid o-line and an excellent running back in Gore that stayed healthy too.  Trent Dilfer won a SB, that doesn't make him a good qb at all.  Grossman played in a SB, ditto for him.   Alex Smith made less big plays in a full season then Skelton on the Cards made in half the season.   Don't kid yourself, Alex Smith is average at best.  And if they aren't so lucky with injuries next year he'll get exposed in a big way. 



Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: January 23, 2012 9:41 pm
 

Much has to happen for Manning to land with Cards

to say that heath is no small hurdle is an underststement.manning not only have to get over the physical part,but any fear in the back of his mind about getting hit. if he want to and can play next season it would make the most sence for him and the colts to rework his deal so he can stay. just remember joe willy namith in a ram unifrom, it just was not right!



Since: Jan 2, 2012
Posted on: January 23, 2012 9:06 pm
 

Much has to happen for Manning to land with Cards

No way SF ditches Alex Smith after this season's accomplishments.  Harbaugh loves the Guy, and he played very well in actuality.  Remember, he was under the guidance of 6 different coordinators until this year.  Give him another year or two to get comfortable in this offense, give him a receiver or two more that can play, and you got a pretty good offense.  As for Payton Manning, I would hope he would retire before he went to play for the Cardinals.



Since: Mar 27, 2009
Posted on: January 23, 2012 8:49 pm
 

Much has to happen for Manning to land with Cards

Peyton Manning on the 49ers would be scary!  He has NEVER had a dominant defense to help him win, and that alone might be enough to bring him to the Bay area.  Interesting idea.....


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