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: Dec 1, 2009
Posted on: March 8, 2012 2:38 pm

Up to 12 teams contacted Peyton Manning Wednesday

rtsfantasy: The $ that would flow from a lifetime of opportunities courtesy of a host of grateful Jets fans. Kids studying for their bar mitzvahs today will hook him up just for the chance to shake his hand.

Since: Nov 16, 2006
Posted on: March 8, 2012 2:32 pm

Up to 12 teams contacted Peyton Manning Wednesday

49er's become the best team in the NFL with Peyton, and it isn't even close!

Since: Jun 28, 2010
Posted on: March 8, 2012 2:31 pm

Up to 12 teams contacted Peyton Manning Wednesday

I agree with @Jsciscoe. DUMBEST post EVER by @Packersrock.

Since: Jun 28, 2010
Posted on: March 8, 2012 2:28 pm

Up to 12 teams contacted Peyton Manning Wednesday

WOW....@Packersrock you my friend are high on something.

Since: Mar 8, 2012
Posted on: March 8, 2012 2:26 pm

Up to 12 teams contacted Peyton Manning Wednesday

This might be the dumbest post I've ever seen.  Have you ever watched a game of football?  Peyton played for 13 straight seasons without misssing a start so I dont know how you think he couldnt ever take a hit.  And as far as not being a mobile quarterback, I think that is a positive for a QB late in his career.  He has never had to rely on being athletic to be good.  He relies on his brain which is not going to decline like the athleticism will.  And sorry to say it GB fan but Favre did not hold a candle to Peyton's ability.  If his nerve is in fact regenerated he could potentially have 4 to 5 more years in the NFL and any team who has him is an automatic playoff team.  Its no coincidence that the Colts went from being a perennial playoff team to 2-14.  But clearly you know more about football than the front offices of the 12+ teams who have already contacted Peyton.

Since: Dec 30, 2009
Posted on: March 8, 2012 2:24 pm

Up to 12 teams contacted Peyton Manning Wednesday

not a warrior are you brain dead ray lewis hit him so hard he broke his jaw and was bloody. he got his jaw wired and played the next week no what your talking about dumb azz.

Since: Sep 4, 2006
Posted on: March 8, 2012 2:16 pm

Up to 12 teams contacted Peyton Manning Wednesday

I agree that the Arizona Cardinals will be Manning's new home. Everyone has to remember, money is not the issue, the issue is the environment Manning will have to throw in every game. The Cardinals have 11 out of 16 games this coming year in a dome stadium, not to mention, the best WR in the league (Fitzgerald) a strong running game and a defense that ended in the top 10 in the league through the last half of the year. The Cardinals are a QB away from getting back to the Superbowl, if youre in doubt, just look what Kurt Warner did with a less talented Cardinals team during his last 3 years of his career!

Since: Sep 2, 2006
Posted on: March 8, 2012 2:04 pm

Up to 12 teams contacted Peyton Manning Wednesday

The "WORST" team in the NFL, just let this guy walk in favor of a guy who has never played a down in the NFL. He is an aging, just coming off 4 major neck surgerys washed up QB. If you think 1 player is going to come in and take your sub .500 to the superbowl, your crazy . He has maybe 2 good years left and 1 will be wasted learning a new coach and system. If your team is smart they won't waste the money to maybe get 1 playoff appearance from him. He never was mobil or able to take a hit. One good hit and he is finished. He's not a warrior, like Favre was.

Since: Aug 7, 2007
Posted on: March 8, 2012 2:03 pm

Up to 12 teams contacted Peyton Manning Wednesday

There is a difference in owning a player vs. owning a team. No one owns Manning. Given the right team/system Manning could have had 3 Superbowl rings already.

Since: Oct 15, 2006
Posted on: March 8, 2012 1:35 pm

Up to 12 teams contacted Peyton Manning Wednesday

I don't think he wants to play San Dego twice a year.  They own him!

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