Where will he go?
Most of the talk surrounding Peyton Manning and his future in the NFL has been on what team he will sign with. It is seems less and less likely that Jim Irsay and the Indianapolis Colts will try to retain their quarterback who has been their star since they drafted him in 1998. It feels like every team has an “insider” or “mystery expert” that claims that their team is attempting to sign Manning. The few teams that have a realistic shot a signing Manning that actually need him are the Washington Redskins, Miami Dolphins and possibly the Arizona Cardinals.
One team that isn’t getting talked about in the Manning free agency is the Seattle Seahawks. They have an energetic coach in Pete Carroll and some talent at the wide receiver spot with Sidney Rice and Mike Williams and need a quarterback.
The Seattle Seahawks need to take a serious look at Manning and see why they need to sign him to be their next quarterback.
Last offseason, Rice arrived in Seattle and immediately provided some veteran experience to the wide receiver corps. He is an über receiver who can catch and run with some of the best at his position. He has been plagued with injury and when healthy, can be a huge threat to score.
Another major player is Williams. The former wideout for the Detroit Lions, Williams is the deep-threat receiver for the Seahawks. Listed at 6'5", he has the ability to out-jump cornerbacks and catch most anything thrown his way.
Seattle’s young receivers have extreme amounts of talent. Just look at Doug Baldwin: Last year he had 51 receptions for 788 yards, which led the team. That’s an average of 15.5 yards per catch. What is more amazing is that he had 19 plays of 20 yards or more and had 311 yards after catch.
Who should start at QB for the Seahawks next year?
Imagine what the Seattle receivers could do when they have an elite quarterback throwing to them. People claim that Tarvaris Jackson is the QB of the future but they obviously have not watched him play. Yes, he can move around in the pocket, which is a talent that is becoming more and more important with the athletic defensive linemen that are more prevalent. Even if Manning is not fully healthy again, he will still be better than Jackson.
Last year, Jackson had a completion percentage of 60.2 with 3,091 yards, 14 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. This is not acceptable for a professional QB. Watching him play this past year was an extreme pain. There were times when he would make a bonehead play and the fans that occupy Century Link Field would absolutely cringe with disgust. At least once a game, he would do something that would make even an average fan yell with anger.
Tarvaris is not the long-term answer at QB and if the front office is not going to draft a quarterback in April, then they need to get the best free-agent QB available, aka Manning.
Ever since Seattle’s 2005 Super Bowl appearance, the Seahawks have slowly lost their stars on the team. It started with Shaun Alexander, Matt Hasselbeck signed with the Tennessee Titans and then the ultra-popular middle linebacker, Lofa Tatupu, did not get signed because of injury concerns. This left a fanbase devoid of a star player.
This past year, the Seahawks found a potential star in Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch. However, he can be insane and his personality is unstable. The Seahawks can use someone of Manning’s stature to rejuvenate the fanbase that has contributed to one of the loudest places to play since the new stadium was built. What Manning was to the people of Indianapolis, he can be the same to the people of Seattle—a true star.
Seattle desperately needs a guy who can do public appearances and be someone who helps them get past an 8-8 record. With his accuracy and arm strength, Manning has the ability to help the Seahawks win the off-and-on NFC West. If there is an elite QB throwing to the current Seattle receivers then there will be a huge offensive explosion.
An important thing to note about this entire experience for Manning is how much he wants to prove that he can still play. He will be highly motivated to prove to Irsay and the Colts wrong, and show that he is still an elite quarterback who can throw for 4,000-plus yards consistently. He will have a chip on his shoulder that no other free agent on the market or collegiate player has.
Ever since his surgery, Manning has been motivated to get back into playing shape and has even enlisted the help of his former college offensive coordinator to help his throwing motion.
If Seattle wants to jump start its team and take back the NFC West from the San Francisco 49ers, it must make a big splash in the offseason; it must go after the biggest free-agency player on the market—Manning. Seattle must replace its current QB as he will not help the Seahawks achieve any type of success.
Seattle needs Peyton Manning.