Peyton Manning: 6 Teams Indianapolis Colts QB Should Want to Play for
Since the Colts have the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft, Andrew Luck being the quarterback of the future seems imminent at this point.
Whether Manning remains on the Colts for a couple more years will depend largely on his physical condition, however. But if he is traded, there are a few things that would go into his decision when choosing his desired teams.
First, he wants to win a championship. How close a team is to winning a Super Bowl will be a huge factor.
Second, what kind of weapons will he have to throw to? Manning has the ability to turn decent receivers and tight ends into productive weapons, but he's going to need all the help he can get at this point in his career.
Lastly, how good the offensive line is will be a huge factor in his decision making. When dealing with a neck injury at 36 years old, Manning can't afford to take too many more hits.
Here's a list of six teams that Manning should want to play for.
6. Washington Redskins
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The Washington Redskins might not be at the top of Peyton Manning's list, but you know that the Redskins have him atop their list.
It seems like Daniel Snyder, the current owner of the Redskins, is in on every big name who is available during the offseason.
So when the Redskins are in need of a quarterback and Manning is potentially available, they would probably be the first ones to call the Indianapolis Colts about a trade.
The Redskins wouldn't be a horrible fit for Manning, either.
He would have a pair of excellent tight ends in Chris Cooley and Fred Davis, and he would also have Santana Moss to throw the deep ball.
There are probably more appealing teams to Manning, but there are worse options than the Redskins.
5. Miami Dolphins
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The Miami Dolphins are closer than you might think.
They have most of the pieces already put together, but they are lacking a legitimate quarterback who can lead an offense. Matt Moore did an admirable job taking over in 2011, but he's not the long-term solution at quarterback.
The weapons Peyton Manning would have on the Dolphins is frightening.
First of all, Brandon Marshall is one of the most talented wide receivers in the NFL. If he had a quarterback like Manning throwing him the ball, he would put up some very impressive numbers.
Anthony Fasano is a capable tight end who would serve Manning much like Dallas Clark did in Indianapolis.
Lastly, Reggie Bush would be the one who would benefit the most from Manning's presence. Not only would Manning force teams to respect the pass, but he would be a deadly receiver out of the backfield.
The protection would be one thing that would make Manning hesitant over since the Dolphins surrendered 52 sacks in 2011. However, he would have Jake Long, the best left tackle in football, protecting his blind side.
Manning to the Dolphins would be a very intriguing fit.
4. Kansas City Chiefs
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If you think about it, Peyton Manning to the Kansas City Chiefs makes sense in a lot of ways.
Matt Cassel is an able quarterback, but he isn't good enough to force the Chiefs to completely turn their back on potentially landing Manning.
The Chiefs have plenty of young talent on offense. Jamaal Charles, Steve Breaston, Dexter McCluster and Jon Baldwin are all under contract next season. And I would assume that Dwayne Bowe, an unrestricted free agent, would come running back to the Chiefs if he heard that Manning was coming to town.
The Chiefs are also known to have one of the best medical staffs in football, so that could be enough to keep him on the field.
But most importantly, the Chiefs will have the cap room and the assets to make such a trade.
3. San Francisco 49ers
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Peyton Manning to the San Francisco 49ers is unlikely to come to fruition, but if it does, they'll instantly be the favorites to win the Super Bowl in 2013.
Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area suggested that the 49ers should look into acquiring Manning, despite the obvious risks that it would entail.
The 49ers are likely to retain Alex Smith, however, and Smith will likely want to come back. He made strides during the 2011 season, and even proved that he can put the team on his back in clutch situations. His two game-winning drives against the New Orleans Saints in the playoffs showed us a side of Smith that no one has seen before.
But how high is Smith's ceiling is the burning question. If the 49ers re-sign Smith this offseason, they are expecting that he'll build off of last year's success and do more than just manage the game.
With Manning, the 49ers offense would instantly become dynamic.
It is scary to think about the the numbers that Vernon Davis would put up with Manning passing him the rock. You know Rob Gronkowski's touchdown record that he set this year? Ya, Davis would demolish that next season.
With the defense that the 49ers currently have, it would be Super Bowl or bust next season if they happen to acquire Manning.
2. New York Jets
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Players on the New York Jets have already made it clear that they want Peyton Manning to lead their team next season, and he should feel the same way (via NBC Sports).
Peyton Manning in green and white makes perfect sense on multiple levels.
First of all, the Jets are close. They have been for a while. Even though they didn't make the playoffs this year, they still have the pieces to make a run deep into the playoffs.
However, quarterback Mark Sanchez is holding them back. If the Jets want to deviate from their roots and throw the ball more, they need a quarterback who complete more than 56.7 percent of his passes. Sanchez is simply not a good quarterback.
But Manning would put them over the top.
He'll have the targets in Santonio Holmes, Dustin Keller and possibly Plaxico Burress—depending on whether they sign him.
Manning would instantly fall in love with Keller, as he is one of the more underrated tight ends in football.
But most importantly, the Jets offensive line can protect Manning. They only allowed Sanchez to get hit 70 times in 2011, which was the 11th-fewest in the league. Manning is a lot less nimble in the pocket than Sanchez, however, but his pocket presence would more than make up for that.
Manning to the Jets would certainly scare the rest of the AFC.
1. Baltimore Ravens
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Would the Baltimore Ravens be willing to jump ship with Joe Falcco and hand the keys of the city over to Peyton Manning?
We have all gotten to witness Flacco for the past four years, and it isn't working out. Flacco is an average quarterback at best, and the Ravens won't be able to get over the hump as long as he's under center.
The Ravens are close. They can smell a Super Bowl title.
However, the window is closing quickly. The defense isn't getting any younger, and that is the strength of this team. However, adding Peyton Manning to the mix would instantly balance things out in Baltimore.
Could you imagine him in an offense with Anquan Boldin, Ray Rice, Torrey Smith and Ed Dickson?
With that offensive line, the Ravens offense would be unstoppable.
Plus, try to tell me that acquiring Manning wouldn't rejuvenate players like Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. Their careers are winding down, but seeing Manning in their own locker room would be the equivalent to taking a sip from the fountain of youth.