So, where is going to land if he does not return to Indianapolis?
Before we analyze where he may go, let’s take a look at where he will not be.
By my count, there are seven teams that should have little or no reason to kick the tires on Peyton:
- Green Bay
- New England
- New Orleans
- New York Giants
- San Diego
Obviously, the first five teams have no reason to look at Peyton. Pittsburgh and San Diego probably should not based off the age and success of their quarterbacks.
Other than those teams, I wouldn’t blame anyone else for being interested.
Alas, here the top 10 spots for the four-time NFL MVP:
10. Minnesota – Christian Ponder is there but should the Vikings pass up a chance at pairing Manning with Adrian Peterson? Of course, that’s the fantasy football owner in me talking.
9. Philadelphia – I’m not sold on Michael Vick and I don’t think he is the guy to get them a Vince Lombardi Trophy. His helter-skelter style of play leads to too many injuries. A quasi-healthy Manning with those receivers? Yes please.
8. Dallas – How many times did Jerry Jones throw up in the last month while watching the Giants? The blood of New York’s latest Super Bowl win is on the hands of Dallas. Bringing Manning in to replace Romo isn’t overreacting but justified at this point.
7. San Francisco – Alex Smith is still trying to find open receivers in the NFC title game. Somehow, I think Manning could make that work and make people remember that Michael Crabtree plays in the NFL.
6. Tennessee – Manning in the same state where he played his college ball? Nashville will eat it up.
5. Miami – Dolphins fans started a site called ManningToMiami.com. No truth to the rumor that Matt Moore started a site called WhatAboutMe.com.
4. NY Jets – Manning to Jets would certainly give Mark Sanchez more opportunities to pursue Kate Upton. Plus, Manning would be the perfect guy to teach Sanchez a thing or 20 about the quarterbacking position.
3. Washington – Since Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has won more off-season Super Bowls than real Super Bowls, Manning to the ‘Skins makes too much sense. Plus, Rex Grossman. That’s the only argument I really need.
2. Indianapolis – Manning has been in Indy since 1998. Andrew Luck or no Andrew Luck, it would be great to see an NFL great finish his career where he started it.
1. His House – I think Peyton Manning should retire. I loathe using this month’s hot button word but Manning playing at a sub-Peyton level would hurt his…(gulp)…LEGACY when considering his chief rival and little brother are making his accomplishments somewhat moot.
Overall, I share the thoughts of Washington Redskin Lorenzo Alexander, who told Comcast SportsNet that he didn’t want Manning in D.C.:
“You know, I respect Peyton Manning and his body of work and everything he’s done,” Alexander said. “But any time you’re dealing with a neck and back injury — even if the doctors clear you — it just really worries me. Even if he takes one hit or falls funny, we’re talking about his life now, his livelihood, being able to play with his kids, and that goes way beyond football. So I wouldn’t like to see him come here, just because I’m unsure about a neck.
“And also the Redskins haven’t had a good history of bringing in other peoples’ stars and having them do well here. So with those two things working together, I’d rather see our front office go young.”
Well said. A Manning return at anything less than 100 percent doesn’t make sense.
He is great for the game but I’d rather remember as an all-time great; and not a guy who didn’t have enough juice in his arm anymore to throw out patterns.