The news of Peyton Manning’s release by the Colts upstaged the NCAA conference tournaments and NBA games this past week, and now the biggest question is which NFL team will land the superstar.
Just in! It looks as if Peyton Manning has signed with the Denver Broncos just two weeks after he was released from the Colts. The current word out of the Broncos' camp is that they will more than likely look to trade away Tim Tebow, despite all of the hype the 'Chosen One' brought to Mile High Stadium.
What does this do for the future odds for the Broncos? Keep you eyes on SBR to find out if we think that this move makes the Broncos a Super Bowl contender.
Once a week we like to kick back and put all the NCAA odds and NBA betting aside while we have another cup of coffee, take our rightful place in our most comfortable recliner and contemplate the week that was.
The NFL stole headlines twice this week when the Colts opted out of shipping 28 million to their future Hall of Fame quarterback and reminded everyone that professional football is big on business but not on sentiment. Peyton Manning, for those of you who decided to scale the Himalayas and took last year off from watching football, spent last season recovering from neck surgery. The only bright spot from the Colts perspective was that without their field general, they were so bad that they "earned" the number one pick in this year's draft. This crop of future NFL millionaires includes Stanford sensation Andrew Luck who just happens to the object of the Colts' adoration. Just like a high performance automobile, out with the old and in with the new.
As Peyton searches for a place, another headline grabber from the NFL shook us from our off-season slumber when rumors swirled that the Washington Redskins will trade their 1st round (6th overall) and 2nd round picks in 2012 as well as their 1st round picks in 2013 and 2014 to the St. Louis Rams for their 1st round pick this year (2nd overall).
Say what? That's right, the Skins will move up only four places and sacrifice the foreseeable future because owner Dan Snyder wants Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III and whatever Danny boy wants, Danny gets. RG 3 will certainly be the second pick in the draft after Andrew Luck though some have conjectured that the Colts may be rethinking their choice and tap Griffin as the first overall pick in which case the Redskins would gladly take Luck as the "consolation prize." This all came about because apparently Manning was chilly towards the idea of playing at FedEx Field and that's when the Redskins turned their lonely eyes to RG 3.
So now we get to play America's favorite new parlor game, "where will Peyton play?" Manning now roams the country in one corporate jet after another, looking for big love and big money from any billionaire owner willing to do whatever it takes to have the surgically repaired and medically suspect soon-to-be 36 year old gunslinger on his roster. Naturally there are several franchises fortunate enough to have no need for Manning's services but let's discuss those who are the most likely destinations for Manning to ultimately land.
Arizona – The Cardinals will need to move quickly because their current starter Kevin Kolb is due 7 million if he’s on the roster on March 17th. While a healthy Manning would be an ideal fit with one of the best young receivers in Larry Fitzgerald, the Cards may be reluctant to gamble that Kolb isn't a better long term fit if they focus on upgrading their offensive line. The difference between Arizona and some of the other suitors is that the Redbirds may already have the answer at quarterback but need a bit more time to make that determination.
Denver – John Elway has been lukewarm to Tebowing therefore you may see him pursue Manning so he doesn’t have to bow to public pressure, hold his nose and go with Tebow. He can ostensibly posture that Manning will be the mentor Tebow needs until he is fully developed to play in the NFL. By the time Manning is out the door, Tebowing will be so 2011 and Elway can look for a quarterback he truly believes in.
Kansas City – Could be another destination because they have plenty of cap space to make it work seeing as they're dealing with the not so dynamic duo of Kyle Orton and Matt Cassel. Head coach Romeo Crennel is a defensive specialist and would have no philosophical differences if Manning wished to tailor this offense to his standards.
Miami – They could make a play and see him lock horns with Tom Brady twice a year and that would make great theater. It would definitely make owner Stephen Ross a happy camper as he wants to fill up his stadium with paying customers and give his brand new coaching staff a signal caller they can build on. However, recently hired head coach Joe Philbin may prefer a more long term strategy and hitch his wagon to the potential star that is free agent Matt Flynn whom he coached in Green Bay.
Seattle –Take Tavaris Jackson, puhleeeeze. They would love Manning but would he consent to playing in an area that’s not necessarily football crazy? When comparing Seattle's accoutrements such as publicity, geography and weather it may pale in comparison to some of the warmer and more marketable regions. However, Indianapolis was not the pulse of the universe yet Peyton felt perfectly comfortable and thrived during his esteemed tenure with the Colts.
San Francisco - The coaching staff of the 49'ers have to ask themselves one question, is Alex Smith the answer? Contract talks between the free agent quarterback and management have apparently stalled with Smith asking for more guaranteed money than the Jets gave Mark Sanchez just a few days ago. This team was one overtime loss away from going to the Super Bowl last season but which Alex Smith are they committing to? Smith has had an injury plagued career and up until last season was in a perpetual battle for the starting job. Now that talks have become a bit contentious, it could open the door for Manning.
Tennessee - Manning played brilliantly at the University of Tennessee and his legacy lives long and strong in the Volunteer State. The Titans just happens to play in the same division as the Colts and the possibility of Manning sticking it to his old team twice a year is irresistible. Of course Jake Locker (2011 1st round pick and 8th overall) is the future but the short term would boil down to Matt Hasselbeck or Peyton Manning. No decision there but the Titans did throw a king's ransom at Chris Johnson last season and Locker is looking to compete for the starting nod this coming season. Possible but not probable.
New Orleans - OK bear with me on this. I realize it's a long-shot and no I haven't been drinking. Reports out of the Bayou insist Brees is livid over not being tendered a satisfactory long term deal with the Saints and subsequently being slapped with the franchise tag. Rumors suggest Brees is so incensed that he will not sign the franchise tag nor will he play in New Orleans without a long term deal.
If the Saints decide a scorched earth policy is in fact the best policy, the following scenario would unfold; The Saints ship their star quarterback to the highest bidder and to a destination who will be assured that Brees will consent to a long term deal. In return, the Saints receive an untold bounty of 1st round picks and bring Peyton Manning home to play out the rest of his career in front of his family and for his dad, Archie Manning's, old team. Cut scene, end of dream sequence.