Peyton Manning Rumors: 5 Teams That Should Bid for Indianapolis QB
They're gonna draft Andrew Luck and move on with the franchise.
They could trade Manning for a plethora of draft picks, but it's more likely that they'll just cut him to save $28 million that they can use in free agency.
Obviously, lots of teams will be interested in picking up Manning (any team without a franchise quarterback is a possible bidder), but a few teams will be going after him harder than the others.
Here are five teams that should go after Manning the hardest.
1. Washington Redskins
I'm sure having Rex Grossman as your starting quarterback is incredibly frustrating. He does occasionally play well, and when he did, the Washington Redskins won.
That's one reason that this is a team that Manning might want to consider: They win when they get good quarterback play.
If Peyton is cleared to play, even if he isn't back at 100 percent, he'll be an upgrade at quarterback, and if they can sweep the Giants with Rex Grossman, they ought to be able to win the division with Manning.
Furthermore, the Redskins have a high pick in the draft this year, which they could use to either give Manning better protection or obtain a better weapon than Santana Moss.
2. Kansas City Chiefs
You might think that the Kansas City Chiefs can't possibly acquire Manning, but it would be possible, and for Manning, favorable. They're in a weak division, they have some good receivers and they have a good running back in Jamaal Charles.
They also have a defense that is entirely capable of rushing the passer and defending against the pass, so they'd work with Peyton's game plan.
The problem that they do have is a lack of pass protection, which is something Peyton can't do without after several neck surgeries. There are four first-round grade tackles in the draft, so the Chiefs could get one (likely Mike Adams) to help keep Peyton on his feet.
With Dwayne Bowe, Jonathan Baldwin, Peyton Manning and Jamaal Charles, the Chiefs would have a formidable offense.
3. New York Jets
The Jets have gotten to the AFC Championship two out of the last three years in spite of Mark Sanchez, not because of him.
They could really use an upgrade at quarterback.
I fully expect the Jets defense to be better next year, and if they had Peyton around, their offense would be better as well. And with opposing quarterbacks having to throw against Darrelle Revis, keeping up with Peyton would be harder than ever.
The Jets already have a good offensive line with Nick Mangold and D'Brickashaw Ferguson anchoring it, so if they fix their receiving problems, Peyton will have no trouble leading them to a playoff berth.
Also, we'd get to see Brady vs. Manning twice a season for as long as Peyton was there.
4. Cleveland Browns
Everyone (myself included), seems to think that the Browns should trade up for Robert Griffin III, and I think that that's what they'll do when all is said and done.
However, their front office is apparently looking at Trent Richardson with their fourth overall pick, according to CBS Sports. I see that and think "That means they're going for Manning."
The Browns have the fourth and 22nd overall picks in the draft this year, and they won't be able to use those to get both Griffin and Richardson.
They'd need to trade up to get either one of them.
That means, if the report is to be believed, that they're considering drafting Trent Richardson fourth overall. They're unlikely to keep using Colt McCoy, so that means they'll be going after Peyton Manning in free agency.
It wouldn't be a terrible fit. Peyton would, for the first time in his career, have a workhorse running back to hand the ball off to, and not a terrible group of receivers for him to spread the ball out. I don't think it'd be his first choice, but it could work.
5. Seattle Seahawks
The Seattle Seahawks are becoming a pretty good team. Marshawn Lynch is appropriately called a beast, the defense is coming together and the offensive line looks pretty good.
Sounds like a good team, doesn't it? However, they have one key missing piece, and it's a quarterback.
Even with Tarvaris Jackson behind the wheel, they finished at a respectable 8-8 this season. With Peyton at the helm, I'd slot them at least 10 wins (keep in mind they get to play the Rams and Cardinals twice each).
Because of the easy schedule he'd have, the Seahawks might actually be the best fit for Manning, if they can retain Marshawn Lynch. If not, I'd put my money on Washington or New York as the team that lands him in the end.