THE EXPENDABLE, featuring Peyton Manning….

Posted: January 26, 2012 by The Cheap Seat Fan in NFL
Tags: , , , ,

"Yesterday....all my troubles seemed so far away..." - Peyton Manning...(not really but you get it)

The un-imaginable is really taking place; Peyton Manning isn’t going to be a Colt much longer. Right now, it’s not even for certain that he’s going to be an NFL player again really. But if Peyton is one thing, it’s tough. He never missed a game before 2011, and in that time he rarely even missed a snap. For all the debate about whether he will actually get on the field again, I honestly believe that if there was one player in the game that would die for it, it’s Peyton. Albeit, that’s what doctors and medical staffs are there for is to prevent kamikaze guys like him from actually doing that, but that’s neither here nor there.

I honestly believe that the Colts are going to have to make the toughest call on turning the page at QB since the 49ers had to move on from Joe Montana. In that case Steve Young made that decision a pretty easy one to live with, but the Colts have no reason to worry about who is next with top pick, uber-prospect Andrew Luck being on their roster nothing but a technicality of the NFL Draft making it official at this point.

But a healthy Peyton may be the best second life QB since Joe took his talents to Kansas City after being cast out from the team he built up from the ground to the heavens. He soon showed he had plenty of life left to him, and even pushed the Chiefs to an AFC Championship game. A healthy Peyton Manning is easily worth a few victories some hard up at quarterback clubs lose simply due to inept leadership in the pocket.

The Montana model is what could be in store for a club that looks into the disenfranchised Manning.

What teams are the best fits for a potential 4-time MVP, 11-time Pro Bowl free agent-to-be, which undoubtedly has a few more yards in him to add to the 54,828 he’s already covered? One thing for certain is that it opens up “a need” at QB for a lot more teams than there are without him on the market. A starter kit estimate would make sense for at least half the teams in the NFL to really take a hard look at how good they are now, and how much better they would be with Peyton on board.

The Dolphins, Redskins & Jets are the obvious contenders for his services, and no doubt he makes each of them a much better club (imagine Peyton in the AFC East going head up with Tom Brady and the Pats constantly?). Adding him to the NFC makes for even more intrigue in the most melodramatic division in the game. However, to see the true impact of his availability, the real impact is the fringe teams that come into play.

Regardless of what they say about their dedication to their current signal callers, the 49ers, Seahawks, Chiefs and Broncos would be foolish not at least inquire into his services. These are all teams that are one step away, and a healthy Manning takes everything about those teams to the next level. Cleveland has been a football wasteland for what seems like a millennium now, but nothing could kick the perpetual rebuilding phase to the gaining ground level like a move like this one. In Minnesota, Christian Ponder showed promise, but did he show that much to put off the possibility of pursuing Peyton and instantly reviving a sagging franchise in a super competitive division? They’ve danced a similar dance to this before, and the rewards they reaped were substantial.

How about the clubs that have high priced experiments in the mix such as the Cardinals and Jaguars? A Larry Fitzgerald-Manning combo is flat out Fantasy League-style fun to imagine and Blaine Gabbert could truly benefit from some bench time, just as new ownership could use the boom the league’s most marketable player brings to the gate. In the ultimate case of an emergency, what if (in the very definition and extreme of the term) the Saints can’t get a common ground with Drew Brees? It’s not a bad fall back to bring home town hero Peyton back to lead the Saints is it?

Much of this is speculation at its finest, but with the welcome mat being pulled in the house in Indianapolis, the unimaginable is about to become a very real situation soon. No matter what uniform he ends up in, it’s going to take a lot of eye wiping and head shaking to bring into focus. Getting ready for any and everything to take place in the biggest player auction in forever is going to be something to see, and in the end, could be the caffeine boost that either stagnant or on the verge team needs to have a pretty good run for a couple of years here.

Who’s got it in them to walk out on faith?

 

Follow me on Twitter, about 900 other folks will tell you it’s a good idea…most of the time. @CheapSeatFan.

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