2012 NFL Free Agents: Where Will Peyton Manning Land?

Ryan PhillipsContributor IIINovember 5, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 22: Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning looks on during the game against the Houston Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 22, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Colts defeated the Texans 19-16. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Indianapolis Colts are almost certainly going to cut quarterback Peyton Manning loose before the franchise owes him a $28 million roster bonus next Thursday. Now all that has to be figured out is where the four-time MVP signal-caller will be playing next season.

Manning should have plenty of suitors and as many as six teams could come calling. The Miami Dolphins, Washington Redskins, Kansas City Chiefs, New York Jets and Seattle Seahawks could be interested.

Personally, I see the Redskins, Dolphins and Seahawks as the three teams Manning could legitimately end up. I don't believe Washington would appeal to the veteran quarterback simply because head coach Mike Shanahan likes to have a ton of control over his offense and Manning is likely to want a free hand to run things the way he sees fit. After all, that's what he has done for years in Indianapolis.

The Dolphins and Seahawks both have emerging offensive weapons and solid offensive lines, which should be big factors in where Manning decides to play next.

Seattle has Sidney Rice, Mike Williams and Golden Tate at wide receiver and Marshawn Lynch at running back, assuming he is re-signed or given the franchise tag. The Seahawks have also drafted offensive linemen in the first round the last two seasons and added Robert Gallery via free agency last year.

Miami has Brandon Marshall and Davone Bess at wideout, and an the emerging tandem of Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas at running back. The Dolphins also have one of the best blindside protectors in the NFL in four-time Pro Bowler Jake Long and also possess the No. 8 overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft to add to the roster.

As things stand right now, I think it will come down to Seattle and Miami for Manning's services, and whichever team makes the best pitch will likely get him.