If healthy, where will Peyton Manning end up playing in 2012?
My bet is for the Redskins…with San Francisco a close second.
Redskins owner Dan Snyder has no issue spending money and gambling on Peyton’s health. As the below analysis states…longtime Colts center Jeff Saturday could go with Manning to DC….the ‘Skins have a veteran coach Peyton would respect, a solid defense and they can use draft picks and free agency to upgrade the offensvie players around Manning. In DC Peyton would play little brother Eli twice a year and make an already high profile division even more exciting.
I think Manning is a perfect fit in San Fran but I’m not sure they’ll give up on Alex Smith to gamble on Peyton. But if Peyton is healthy and he goes to the bay area….watch out because the 49ers have all the pieces in place.
BELOW ANALYSIS COURTESY: ESPN INSIDER
Arizona Cardinals. Peyton — and really, any QB — would likely enjoy the Cards’ arsenal of skill position players led by Larry Fitzgerald (and Fitzgerald would certainly be open to having another future Hall of Famer come to the desert). Though the Cards have somewhat of a suspect offensive line, Manning has made it work in Indy with questionable O-lines in the past.
Cleveland Browns. Certainly a team in the market for an upgrade at QB over Colt McCoy and Seneca Wallace, a potential problem here could be that the Browns may not be able to sell Manning on their collection of receivers. Then again, if Manning is signed before the draft, the Browns would have the ability to add some help in that department at No. 4 overall (Justin Blackmon?) and/or No. 22 (Alshon Jeffery? Michael Floyd? Kendall Wright?).
Miami Dolphins. New head coach, new OC, new QB? It’s possible. And according to a report this week, the Dolphins would prefer Peyton over Matt Flynn, who head coach Joe Philbin just coached in Green Bay and who isn’t coming off life-altering neck fusion surgery. Would Peyton want to play in Miami? There are some solid pieces in place, and he’d be guaranteed a home-and-home series against Tom Brady.
New York Jets. This is the one that’s caused the most uproar, following the report that certain anonymous Jets players would opt for Peyton over current Jets QB Mark Sanchez. If healthy, Peyton is a clear upgrade — though that’s the big question in all of this — and the possibility of the Manning brothers both playing in the New York market is an exciting one for fans and observers alike.
San Francisco 49ers. With Alex Smith likely re-signing, it doesn’t appear as though the Niners are a likely destination; however, until Smith is officially back, the speculation will continue that Manning could land with Jim Harbaugh‘s team. An already strong run game and defense coupled with an all-time great at QB? San Francisco would instantly be amongst the favorites for next year’s Super Bowl.
Seattle Seahawks. Perhaps the dark horse candidate for Manning, they’ve seldom been mentioned in the reports on Peyton’s potential landing spots, though Mike Sando of the NFC West blog thinks that of the teams in his division, Seattle makes the most sense from a pure QB need perspective. With talent on the O-line, in the backfield (assuming Marshawn Lynch comes back) and receiving corps, Pete Carroll’s team may be one to watch in the process.
Washington Redskins. With Mike Shanahan’s job possibly on the line in 2012, the Redskins are pretty desperate for some help at QB, and a rumor back on Jan. 13 linked both Peyton and long-time teammate Jeff Saturday to the Redskins in a package deal of sorts. Washington owner Daniel Snyder has been relatively silent on the free agent market recently, but this opportunity may be too much for him to pass up.
– Tim Kavanagh