March 7, 2012

End of an Era: What's Next For Peyton Manning?

By - Kris Fletcher

Now that the Peyton Manning era has officially come to an end in Indianapolis, what's next for the future Hall-of-Fame signal caller?

Photo by: Getty Images
Manning has already gone on record saying he has no intentions of retiring, so what teams have the best chance of landing the biggest free agent in league history?

Obviously, every organization that doesn't already have a franchise-type quarterback in place will be giving Peyton a call in the upcoming weeks, but I've narrowed it down to four clubs that make the most sense for Manning to consider.

1. Miami Dolphins

It just so happens that Peyton already owns a home in South Beach, and the Dolphins are probably just a quarterback away from being able to compete in the AFC East to boot. They have a solid offensive line, a good running game, and a legit #1 receiver in Brandon Marshall. Plus, in Miami, Manning would get to go head-to-head against Tom Brady twice a year. So, what's not to like with this scenario?

2. Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals have one of the best wideouts in the NFL in Larry Fitzgerald, and hey, who wouldn't like to play in the city of Arizona? Plus, with the exception of the San Francisco 49ers, the NFC West is a fairly winnable division. Arizona also has an advantage in that they can use the whole "look at how we revived Kurt Warner's career" pitch to try and help sway Manning's decision to sign with them. Besides, they need to do something to cover up the huge mistake they made in trading for Kevin Kolb last season.

3. Washington Redskins

Owner Daniel Snyder has always been willing to do whatever it takes to get better, and he's willing to pay out the nose to do it. The Redskins don't have a lot of offensive firepower, but they do own the #6 overall pick in the upcoming draft, and they could use it to add someone like wide receiver Justin Blackmon in the event that he's still on the board. Brother Eli being in the same division might cause Peyton to second-guess signing with Washington, but that wont prevent the Redskins from pursuing him.

4. Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks have said they'd be willing to basically open their vault and allow Manning to take whatever he wants out of it, so that can't hurt. Also, coach Pete Carroll has quietly assembled a number of young offensive players who are just waiting to fully hit their stride. Seattle lacks a true #1 wideout, but Mike Williams and Sidney Rice have both played that role at some point in their careers, and there's no question Peyton could bring out the best in them. Again, the NFC West is a winnable division, and once you make the postseason, anything is possible.

One other team to lookout for is the Kansas City Chiefs. They have a number of weapons on the offensive side of the ball in Jamaal Charles, Dexter McCluster and Dwayne Bowe, and things will certainly pick up on defense now that Romeo Crennel is the head coach. The addition of Manning would make the Chiefs one of the front-runners in the AFC West for the remainder of his career.


  1. Not sure where he's going to end up, but I'm still in shock that it actual came to this. Hard to imagine him playing anywhere but Indy.

    1. Yeah. Two years ago no one would have thought this was even in the realm of possibility. How quickly things can change, huh?

  2. No mention of the Jets? I'm surprised. You don't they're a possibility?

    1. I don't see that happening. Manning doesn't wanna play for a loud mouth coach like Rex Ryan, nor does he want to play in the same city as Eli. At least, that's my take on it.

      Miami seems to make the most sense.


    1. You mean, you aren't content with Sanchez? Lol

  4. Miami would be his best bet, because they're the team out of the ones you mentioned that have the best group of players for Manning to work with.