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: Apr 22, 2009
Posted on: March 8, 2012 9:35 pm

Up to 12 teams contacted Peyton Manning Wednesday

Will, I am sorry that I do not believe the story of 12 teams contacting Peyton.  Manning will not be able to pass a physical.

Since: Feb 15, 2011
Posted on: March 8, 2012 9:28 pm

Up to 12 teams contacted Peyton Manning Wednesday

Denver would be a fun choice.
Leaders like Manning, Baily and Dawkins (he'd want one more year).
A good young offensive line. D thomas can stretch the field. Eric Decker as the new great slot receiver and can they afford Wayne or Garson as the other WR? McGahee to keep them honest. Moreno as a receiving back.... Tebow learns and maybe plays a little H-back
Draft middle help on the defense and this is as good a defense as Manning has ever had.
Great kicker -punter a solid team. Fox / Del Rio handle the D and Manning / Mike McCoy score the points   


Since: Jul 21, 2007
Posted on: March 8, 2012 9:19 pm

Up to 12 teams contacted Peyton Manning Wednesday

Obviously Peyton is damaged goods, but I'm surprised the Cowboys haven't expressed an interest in Manning. Tony Romo hasn't exactly done anything in his nine years in Dallas so why not return some luster to the franchise?

Since: Sep 12, 2006
Posted on: March 8, 2012 8:49 pm

Why Does Kolb Signing Bonus Matter?

Arizona guaranteed Kolb $20 million, and most of that is due to be paid this year. Even if they cut him before the bonus is paid, they still owe him $8 mil. That aside, releasing him would expidite the prorated portion of the signing bonus, causing an $8 million cap hit this season anyway. Kolb will be staying with them this season regardless.

Since: Jan 17, 2012
Posted on: March 8, 2012 7:50 pm

Up to 12 teams contacted Peyton Manning Wednesday

Everyone is hating on Tebow... because he excels at the option? Really? Cam Newton and RGIII excelled at it. This is racist. Who says white men can't jump?

Seriously, the 49rs would be a great option, but the Redskins are going all out. They need a director and a leader, and Landon is already the leader, so why not a Hall-of-Fame Quarterback calling the shots? They have Beck and Grossman, and they both suck. But it's going to be hard for the 'Skins to convince Peyton to play for them.

After all, they suck. They have gone to extremely high levels of sucking on a consistent level. Absolutely pathetic. 

Since: Jan 25, 2012
Posted on: March 8, 2012 7:28 pm

Up to 12 teams contacted Peyton Manning Wednesday

The 49ers are a punt return fumble away from the Super Bowl and people would have them throw away 10 years of Alex Smith for 2 to 3 years of Manning in an offense that doesn't play to Manning's strengths. Doesn't make a lot of sense.

I'm hoping he goes to Arizona, but that is just my bias. There are benefits to Arizona----indoor stadium, Fitzgerald, complimentary receivers who can do the job, running backs that can catch the ball out of the backfield, a defense that was stout, at least for the last 9 games of the season (they were horrific the first 7).

As a Packer fan, the place I don't want him to go to is the Vikings. Not that it wouldn't be cool to compete against him twice a year, it's that it makes the entire division brutal.  You would have Manning and a defensive front seven that, while aging, still has tread on the tire, Cutler and a Bears team that was play off bound prior to him going down, Stafford and a young Lions team that is only going to get better (and Stafford threw for over 5000 yards), and Rodgers with his gaggle of receivers but with a defense that has to prove itself after last season.

Since: Mar 6, 2012
Posted on: March 8, 2012 7:19 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Nov 29, 2011
Posted on: March 8, 2012 7:18 pm

Up to 12 teams contacted Peyton Manning Wednesday

In principle it sounds good. That said......Harbaugh and Manning would never be able to co-exist. Harbaugh is in firm control of that team and he wants everyone to know it. He seems like a guy with a big ego. Manning would come in and want full control of the offense. No way those 2 egos are going to be able to work together. Cross SF off the list.

Since: May 16, 2007
Posted on: March 8, 2012 7:05 pm

Up to 12 teams contacted Peyton Manning Wednesday

The Jaguars have a quarterback? I live near Jacksonville. Could have fooled me........

Since: Mar 1, 2012
Posted on: March 8, 2012 7:00 pm

Up to 12 teams contacted Peyton Manning Wednesday

Im surprised to hear that the 49ers didnt contact him. Alex Smith isnt gonna hold up .  Imagine Peyton Manning with a first round wide out   grabtree on the other side  and verin davis with frank gore running and a top five defense ????  I'd make that call ...

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