Peyton Manning took over free agency with the news of being let go by the Indianapolis Colts. Even Jeremy Lin, partially thanks to the losing streak that had to be coming, isn’t news anymore. The only thing people seem to care about right now – Which NFL team will enjoy the future hall of fame inductee in the 2012 season?
Peyton-Palooza it’s called. Manning says he doesn’t have a club about who wants him and how this whole free agency things works. I don’t why he’s playing shy and coy, but it’s pretty obvious who needs him, and who’s willing to do everything possible to get him
The Miami Dolphins have long been regarded as the no.1 candidates for landing Manning when he gets the boot from Irsay. Funnily enough, despite everyone knowing in the back of their heads that the Colts were going to part ways with their franchise quarterback, it still came as a shocking decision, across the board.
The Dolphins need to restructure a few deals to get the cap space, with currently $10.2 freed up. They have some nice offensive tools to draw Manning in – Reggie Bush, Brandon Marshall. I’m guessing Reggie Wayne might follow Manning wherever he goes, if it’s financially possible. Miami loves stars, and have been dying for one to join the football team after both the new version of the Marlins got them one and the Heat are loaded. On the other hand, quarterbacks need offensive line, and Jake Long seems to be the only decent O-Liner on the Dolphins.
How about the Washington Redskins? Dan Snyder loves himself some superstars, and there’s a good chance Mike Shanahan need to make the postseason to get his job. He needs a quarterback to do that. There’s plenty of cap room for Manning and more – $36.5 million, meaning they can get Manning and Wayne and more, probably. Trading up to get RG III was a plan, but with Manning on the board and the Redskins maybe the most likely team to get him, they’ll wait on trading up.
How about pulling a Joe Montana? The Kansas City Chiefs though about bringing in a quarterback to compete with Matt Cassell. Now they can just bring a QB that’s better, if he’s healthy. The Chiefs have over $20 million in cap space after franchising Dwayne Bowe. They were very bi-polar last season, but with Manning coming to town the Chiefs should be favorites in the AFC West, which was extremely tight last season.
The Seattle Seahawks have Tavaris Jackson as their quarterback, and plenty of cap space, meaning they’re going after Peyton Manning. They re-signed Marshawn Lynch, meaning they have somewhere around $28-27 million in cap space. They’re loaded on defense, have plenty of receiving talent (Sindey Rice, Doug Baldwin, Mike Williams, and Zach Miller) and they’ll still have enough room to try and sign Mario Williams, their premier target for this offseason. A problematic offensive line might deter Manning, who doesn’t really look forward to getting injured again.
The Arizona Cardinals don’t have the cap room, but they might cut Levi Brown, freeing up more than $16 million in cap room. Larry Fitzgerald is one hell of an incentive to come to Arizona, but without an offensive line to keep you healthy, it might be risky, knowing they have to face the 49ers twice a year.
Other teams? The Denver Broncos are in the rumor mill, but despite having over $30 million in cap space, it seems Elway is taking the Tim Tebow path. Same goes for the Jets, who weren’t pleased with Mark Sanchez last season and need to work out more than one deal in order to free up the cap space needed for Manning.