Peyton Manning Trade Rumors: 4 Plausible Destinations for the MVP Quarterback

Scott ReighardAnalyst IJanuary 11, 2012

Peyton Manning Trade Rumors: 4 Plausible Destinations for the MVP Quarterback

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    Say it isn’t so Ethel? Sorry, had to borrow that line from Ray Stevens’ song The Streak. That’s one for you old timers. Is it possible though? One of the game's greatest quarterbacks could be traded.

    As weird as this sounds, it is not unprecedented.

    The most recent case is Brett Favre, and prior to him Joe Montana.  Arguably, these are three Super Bowl-winning QBs who lined up under center to bark out calls, giggled inside at predictable defenses and set more records than we can even recall. 

    The offseason, for most teams, always presents challenges. For the Indianapolis Colts, the dubious distinction of owning the overall No. 1 pick has brought us to this point. I am not a diehard Colts fan, although I follow them closely because my son’s football idol is Peyton.

    The challenges lie in what happened just a few short weeks ago. Had the Colts won a few more games, this discussion would be moot, but as Brett Favre loves to say, “It is what it is.”  

    We can argue all day about loyalty and how Peyton Manning was hugely instrumental in the Colts getting Lucas Oil Stadium built, but football is a business. The Colts are staring down the barrel of $28 million dollars and a quarterback who did not take one snap all year.  

    So, let’s get to it.

    If a trade does happen, here are a few teams who just might pick up the phone and make a deal. I will not venture into what the teams will pay for him. This article is to look at plausible destinations only.  

    Again, let me be clear. I am not proposing what the trade value or compensation should be. I am merely looking at four teams that would be pretty good fits for an aging MVP, first ballot Hall of Famer, All-Pro and Super Bowl winning quarterback.

    That’s it, nothing more.

    By the way, I am really putting myself out there. My son, a diehard Colts' fan, is giving me the silent treatment for writing this article.

Washington Redskins

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    It wouldn't be hard to argue that John Beck and Rex Grossman are not the answer in Washington. I have no idea what Shanahan is thinking.

    This year, the quarterback draft class that once looked very stout is basically a two-man race and Andrew Luck is already drafted. The actual draft pick is just an exercise in formality.

    Yes, there is a very good chance the Redskins, who draft sixth overall, could have a shot at Robert Griffin III (RGIII), but Snyder is a gambler, and this Manning deal sounds right up his alley. 

    Why Washington? Because they haven’t had a franchise quarterback since, dare I say it, Joe Theismann. Beck and Grossman are no more than backups and the pressure is on for the Redskins to start winning now.

    There is some talent on this team, but not much on the outside. The Redskins would have to find a few bodies. They have Santana Moss and Jabar Gaffney—of whom Manning would make look like All-Pros.

    They also have Chris Cooley—if he can ever get through an entire season, but the wideout area is an area that needs to be addressed. There is also youth in the wide receiver area, but it is mostly unproven.

    As for the offensive line, there can definitely be some upgrading to that unit, but the DC market is big and Peyton would have the opportunity to play his little brother twice a year. How much media buzz would that create, especially if the playoffs were on the line?

Miami Dolphins

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    Here are just a few names: Reggie Bush, Davone Bess, Brandon Marshall, Brian Hartline and Anthony Fasano. The O-Line is relatively young, and if you think that the owner Ross wants a name to attract fans, who better than Peyton Manning? 

    Also, Peyton gets to play in sunny, warm Miami, and would have an opportunity to face his arch-nemesis, Tom Brady, twice a year.  

    I don’t think there is any doubt the Miami Dolphins are disappointed that Matt Barkley decided to stay in school, and although Matt Moore has been a pleasant surprise, most would say he is not a franchise quarterback.

    He is probably the third-best quarterback in the AFC East.  

    With the acquisition of Manning, the Dolphins could hang on to both Moore and Henne to learn from the Jedi master.

    Now all the Dolphins have to do is to get the right coach down there—and not some guy who is just going to be happy sailing a sloop over to Bimini, or one who enjoys warm winters.

Jacksonville Jaguars

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    I know, they just drafted Blaine Gabbert, but if you watched Gabbert play at all this year, you saw a kid who clearly wasn’t ready. He looked uncomfortable, had the jitters and seemed like he needed more time to prepare.  

    Why Jacksonville? It would be a nice spot for Peyton because he stays in the AFC South, gets a chance to play the Colts twice a year and the weather is pretty conducive to his play.

    He would have a great runner in Maurice Jones-Drew—something he hasn’t really had since Edgerrin James. Wide receiver is a completely different area, and that is something the Jaguars would have to address with the utmost urgency. 

    The Jaguars defense is pretty solid, so they could concentrate on the offensive side of the ball. Most of all, Gabbert would get a couple of years to learn—something he desperately needs.  

    The dilemma here is like the Dolphins, who is going to be the coach? If it is Mike Mularkey, the Falcons and Colts run very similar systems, and the transition for Peyton would be easy.

Arizona Cardinals

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    I understand Arizona Cardinals fans reactions when they say, “What about the money we gave Kevin Kolb? What do we do with him now?” It’s a good question and bears scrutiny, no doubt.

    I think the Cardinals would be an ideal place for Peyton.  

    Why Arizona? First of all, it’s a great place to retire, and there are lots of golf courses. I hear Peyton loves golf.

    In all seriousness, the Cardinals have a good team to offer Manning. They have a premier receiver in Larry Fitzgerald. They have some other dynamic receivers in Early Doucet and Andre Roberts. They have veteran tight ends in Todd Heap and Jeff King, and rookie Rob Housler.  

    And let’s not forget the Cardinals drafted Ryan Williams from Virginia Tech, who was out all year with an injury. He is an exciting runner. They also have Beanie Wells and LaRod Stephens-Howling.

    And don’t forget the veteran Chester Taylor.

    The Cardinals defense played better down the stretch, and with the possibility of Todd Haley returning to his OC duties, we could see another resurgence a la Kurt Warner.   

    The Cardinals play in the NFC West, and there isn't any really horrible weather for divisional games. That favors an older quarterback who will play eight games in sunny, dry Arizona and one game in the comfort of a dome in St. Louis.

    San Francisco and Seattle aren’t too bad, either.  

    Could it happen? I have no idea. If it did, I would be working for ESPN making insane amounts of money. This is just one humble correspondent’s opinion and nothing more than that. I welcome your constructive thoughts and feedback.