Peyton Manning Cleared: The Miami Dolphins Must Sign Him

Joseph BeguiristainContributor IIFebruary 2, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - JANUARY 08:  Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts looks to pass against the New York Jets during their 2011 AFC wild card playoff game at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 8, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Jets won 17-16.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Chris Mortensen has reported that Colts quarterback Peyton Manning has been cleared to resume his football career.This should be excellent news for Dolphin fans. It is well documented that Stephen Ross’ top target is Peyton Manning if healthy, and it looks like he is.

With the rocky relationship between Colts owner Jim Irsay and Peyton Manning, all signs point to Manning being cut before his $28 million bonus is due on March 8th. Manning said Tuesday in an interview with ESPN’s Trey Wingo that he plans on meeting with Irsay the week after the Super Bowl.

Even if Manning isn't cut, it is likely that the Colts will trade him since they are in a rebuilding mode that doesn't have Manning in its plans. All signs point to the Colts choosing either Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III with the first overall pick in this upcoming draft.

The Dolphins need to make a move and make one fast once Manning becomes a free agent or is on the trading block. The Dolphins are most likely going to be competing with the Arizona Cardinals and the Washington Redskins for his services.

You would think the most enticing offer for the four-time MVP would be Miami. Miami has the most complete team out of the three with a very solid defense, a prototypical No. 1 receiver in Brandon Marshall (who said at the Pro Bowl that he wants an elite quarterback), and other strong weapons such as Brian Hartline (who could become his new Austin Collie) and Reggie Bush.

Looking at the Redskins situation, they are a very dysfunctional franchise, but you can never count out owner Daniel Snyder and his willingness to pay top dollar for players.

The Cardinals on the other hand, have some nice pieces on offense such as Larry Fitzgerald and Early Doucet, but the Dolphin defense is a bit better and has more upside.

In the coming days and weeks, speculation will be abound as to where Peyton Manning will play next, but here is one thing to remember: Peyton Manning’s golf partner in the off-season is Dan Marino.