This may not even be an option because Peyton Manning's NFL career might be done. Every week or so, a different story breaks about Manning not being able to throw the ball to his left, Manning deciding to retire,or Manning and Andrew Luck not being a good fit on the same team.
If Manning plays in 2012, the top targets seem to be the New York Jets, Miami Dolphins, Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers, or Washington Redskins. If he is healthy, that team receives an immediate upgrade: Manning is a four-time NFL MVP, an 11-time Pro Bowler, and an eight-time All-Pro. He has a Super Bowl ring with the Indianapolis Colts following the 2006 season, and he has helped the Colts to the playoffs in 10 different seasons.
The last time he played, he threw for 4,700 yards and 33 touchdowns, while setting an NFL record with 450 completions. He has thrown for at least 4,000 yards and 27 touchdowns in each of the past five seasons, and assuming he is at full strength again in 2012, he should be a league MVP candidate.
Then again, maybe he won’t be very effective. Manning is 35 years old, he has had three neck surgeries in the past two years and just because he can play doesn’t mean he will still be good. If Manning comes back and isn’t very good, it will likely hurt his legacy. It shouldn’t, not after all Manning has done over the last 14 years, but it will be the last thing people remember about him. And that’s what makes Manning the player with the most to prove in 2012.