You would think I would have posted something after the NYG Super Bowl win, but with almost too much to say, I’m still waiting to compile my thoughts. However, it’s the “other” Manning that has me talking today.
Watching Peyton Manning’s press conference yesterday was almost unbearable. To me, anticipating Peyton in another jersey, for some reason, is weirder than Favre, McNabb, Hines Ward, etc. Not only has Peyton done incredible things for the NFL in Indy, and with class, he has also done wonderful things for the city. The following post is about where, in my humble, armchair analyst opinion, I think Peyton will bring his talents next.
Although there has been discussion about almost every team and the viability of Peyton playing for them, I am only addressing a handful or so that are seemingly the most realistic, or the least silly of them all. My thought process is based on the following factors: strength of team (including coaches and ability to win big games), weather, input level, and opponents in the division.
I think this is the first possibility. It’s a climate-controlled environment, which is obviously Peyton’s NFL career experience. Of the available options, they seemingly have the strongest team regarding room for improvement with a great QB at the helm. I have no doubt that Whisenhut would move Kolb to the rear (or get rid of him) for number 18. Fitz, Beanie, and add some former Colts? Makes sense. Plus, if Peyton is willing to play in the NFC, it’s one of the fewer adversarial teams to his lil’ brother.
Not sure how viable an option this is. I see the biggest wild card as whether or not they are ready to give up on Schaub. But, with Andre Johnson, Arian Foster, and a respected coach like Kubiak, it could be attractive to Peyton. Plus, he might want to go head to head with Indy…or not.
I can see all the reasons in the world why the Seahawks would want him, especially to battle the surging 49ers. However, I can’t see why this would be at all attractive to Peyton. Sure they have the cap space but I’m not sure people believe the offense is an explosive as “experts” say it is. They’ve got Marshawn Lynch and in my opinion, that’s about it. And really, who wants to play in the rain all the time? Enough said.
Peyton won’t play in the same division as Eli. Period. The coach isn’t the best (despite what he thinks), the players aren’t the best, and the weather isn’t the best. And forget Eli for a minute, the NFC East is way too tricky and unpredictable to have an immediate impact creating a stand-out team, which is what most people believe Peyton wants to do.
Kansas City Chiefs
A franchised WR, a healthy RB returning to the roster, and a ho-hum division could make this attractive to Peyton. Behind the Cards and Dolphins, I see this as viable choice number three.
My personal preference and also my number two of strongest possibilities. Miami’s warm weather and need of a hero makes the city attractive. There’s no doubt that getting Fish fans to fill seats is more difficult than trying to herd cats. If Miami is willing to pay for other Colts, and if Reggie Bush, Brandon Marshall and Anthony Fasano have another good year (that was with Moore, imagine what they could do with Peyton?) that just might be enough reason for fans to matriculate down to Sun Life Stadium. As a business man, this would have to make sense to Stephen Ross.
Of course, in this division, there’s the Brady factor. And Peyton’s feelings on the matter is not something about which anyone can pretend to know. As a fan, it’s my hope that he would want to go head-to-head with him twice a year, take care of it there, and then not have to worry about it in the playoffs. But, he could very well just want to deal with Brady only if and when necessary. Another potentially attractive aspect of the team is the newness of the coaching staff. While some believe this would be a deterrent for Peyton, I think it would allow him the most flexibility and room for input and control over how he wants to run things…it’s no secret Peyton likes to do that.
On the personal note, working in a community that’s assisted by the Miami Dolphins in a number of ways, I would love to see an increase in the team’s success. And, let’s be honest, I’m not a Rex Ryan fan (but I don’t mind the Jets). So to the extent that Brady and Manning would dominate the AFC East, I wouldn’t mind…much to the disappointment of my Jets-loving husband. Sorry, Sweetheart.
New York Jets
I don’t see this one happening either, and it has nothing to do with not wanting to share a city with Eli. It has everything to do with the fact that I can’t see Peyton playing for someone like Rex. Although his background is defense, thereby giving Peyton a lot of input on offense, I’m not sure Peyton is into the locker room dynamics of that team. Plus, haven’t they publicly heralded their franchise QB, Sanchez? They’ve gone to two AFC Championship games without Peyton, so what’s next- needing a new QB to cash the Super Bowl check they’ve written for three years in a row? Everyone knows they should invest in a new QB, but it won’t be Peyton, and it won’t be this year.