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Even before the Super Bowl has been played, chatter has started in regards to Peyton Manning. Various reports around the internet have indicated that multiple teams are going to make a play for the future Hall-of-Fame quarterback.
So, let's take a look at a couple.
ESPN, among others, have reported that Jeff Ireland and recently-hired coach Joe Philbin have Peyton Manning atop their quarterback wish list in Miami. I am not sure how much of this is pure conjecture because of the need the Dolphins have at the quarterback position. Additionally, getting a franchise guy like Matt Flynn makes a little more sense rather than going after a quarterback with just a couple years of football, if that, left in him.
Adam Schefter, also of ESPN fame, has concluded that a total of four teams are interested in the services of Peyton Manning. These teams include: the Washington Redskins, Arizona Cardinals, New York Jets and aforementioned Dolphins.
Lets break these other three teams down for a second here.
Washington Redskins: This does seem to fit what the Redskins have done since Daniel Snyder took ownership of the franchise. They tend to look more at free agency to fill key holes rather than the draft. This has not been a successful front office philosophy for Washington up to now.
However, acquiring the services of Manning wouldn't necessarily mean that the Redskins wouldn't go after a quarterback in the draft. It just means that they would not be trading up for Robert Griffin III.
Arizona Cardinals: This seems like the most unlikely scenario out there. The Arizona Cardinals don't seem to be anywhere near contending with the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC West, and I am pretty sure Manning, if he leaves Indianapolis, is going to go to a contender.
Additionally, the Cardinals invested picks and money on Kevin Kolb last offseason. They don't seem to be in a position to get Manning financially or contention wise.
New York Jets: This is the rumor that will probably get the most play. The New York media loves to overplay its hand when it comes to rumors about their football teams. However, a Manning to New York scenario seems to make some sense. Mark Sanchez just isn't getting it done at quarterback, and the Jets have a tremendous amount of talent and should contend in 2012, two things that I am sure Manning is going to look at.
Other possibilities: This is pure speculation, but the San Francisco 49ers could show some interest in Manning this offseason. Alex Smith, while he wants to be back, is set to be a free agent. A healthy Manning would be an upgrade over the improved signal-caller. The acquisition of a player of Manning's caliber would make the 49ers odds-on favorites to win the Super Bowl next season.