Peyton Manning could go to virtually any team in the NFL, but the contenders have been narrowed down to just a few squads. After the Jets resigned Mark Sanchez and the Redskins traded for the Rams 2nd pick, the major destinations left for Manning to go to are Miami, Arizona, Denver, Seattle and Kansas City.
Which team is the most fitting?
Miami Dolphins – Miami certainly has the pieces in place to win. Their defense finished 15th in yards per game allowed last year, and they proved to be resilient even with Matt Moore as their quarterback. Brandon Marshall is a big target that Manning could focus on, and Reggie Bush flying out of the backfield gives him the check-down option he loves so much. The problem is it just doesn’t feel right. Miami, as a city, doesn’t seem to have the low-key sense of community Peyton truly loved in Indianapolis. Also, he’ll be entering a division where he’ll have to face the Patriots and Jets twice a year, something that nobody wants. Still, Miami is the favorite, I just don’t think it’s the best destination.
Denver Broncos – Denver might just seem like the most fitting team for Peyton at a glance, it’s a tight-knit community dedicated to football. They made the playoffs last year, mostly due to strengths other than their quarterback, he’d be a semi-god there. The problem is it’s a running team that would have to change philosophies more than any other team in the Manning race, and the Tebow factor just gives it a weird vibe. I cant see him ending up here in the end.
Seattle Seahawks - A relatively unlikely destination for Manning, but has appeal. They have a young team with an excellent defense. Their fan-base and crowd is debatably the largest in the country, and he’d be entering a weak division. Seattle has no quarterback at all right now, which would leave out the complications other teams have with Manning and their future at the position. However, Seattle just resigned Marshawn Lynch and might want to look for a young quarterback to lead them in the future.
Kansas City Chiefs – The most interesting of all potential destinations. KC was never really a big part of the discussion for Manning, but recently have become a part of the talks. They have a solid defense, good running backs and a notoriously loyal crowd. The city has the Midwest feel Peyton loves. The problem is that last year was a mess for the Chiefs, and new coach Romeo Crenell might not instill the confidence Peyton needs to commit to a new team.
Arizona Cardinals – I believe Arizona to be the best destination for Manning to go to. They have the best receiving core of the potential landing spots for Manning, they won 7 of their last 9 last year. Kurt Warner came to Arizona late in his career and experienced enormous success. It’s a comfortable living scenario, and most importantly, coach Ken Whisenhunt has a twisted enough football mind to understand and embrace Manning’s unique play-calling. Whisenhunt’s creativity is part of the reason Warner succeeded, and could be a major factor for Manning, and any scenario where Peyton gets to throw to Larry Fitzgerald is a win for fans all over.