With the release of long-time Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning imminent, rumors are flying fast and furious regarding the interest of several teams in the future Hall of Famer. One team in particular that seems to want Manning quite badly is the Seattle Seahawks.
Many of the NFL's most respected insiders have been reporting that the Seahawks would be willing to do anything necessary to nab Manning. It certainly makes sense as Seattle looked very good in a late-season run last year, but the team most definitely needs a quarterback better than Tarvaris Jackson to be a true contender.
Here is a breakdown of the validity of some of the hottest Manning-to-Seattle rumors that are currently circulating.
Although Peyton Manning already has more money than any of us could ever dream of, it will likely take a huge financial commitment from whichever team ultimately signs him as plenty of teams will be vying for his services.
According to Rich Cimini of ESPN New York, the Seahawks are ready to pay whatever it takes and will "come out, checkbook blazing."
Seattle recently re-signed running back Marshawn Lynch to a contract that guarantees him $18 million, so there is no question that the Seahawks are willing to shell out big bucks in order to get better. Owner Paul Allen and general manager John Schneider have spent money over the past couple seasons on free agents like Sidney Rice and Zach Miller, so there's no reason to think they would hesitate to pay Manning.
I have no doubt that the Seahawks will give Manning whatever he wants, but it comes down to whether or not Manning wants to play there. He wouldn't have the greatest weapons, but perhaps he could awaken Rice and Miller, plus he would have a good running game supporting him. If Manning wants to win, then Seattle would figure to be a pretty good option, especially if it's willing to break the bank.
Manning & Reggie Wayne Combo
A big part of the reason for Manning's success for more than a decade in Indianapolis has been continuity. While new pass catchers have often been integrated into the offense well, Manning always had either Marvin Harrison or Reggie Wayne as his main target. With that in mind, it stands to reason that he would love to reunite with Wayne elsewhere.
Wayne is also a free agent, and according to Sports Illustrated's Peter King, the Seahawks would be willing to sign both Manning and Wayne.
Despite that, King says that the Seahawks shouldn't be considered the favorite for Manning. I tend to agree with that assessment because any team that signs Manning would probably welcome in Wayne with open arms, not just the Seahawks. Manning and Wayne have been a magical combination over the years, and while both are up there in age, there is a familiarity factor.
Nothing has been said on the matter, but one would think that Wayne would do anything possible to remain with Manning. That may even mean taking a pay cut, so signing both wouldn't cripple the Seahawks financially. Plenty of teams are probably under the impression that Manning and Wayne are a package deal, and if the Seahawks are willing to honor that, then they should be viewed as contenders at the very least.
Changing the Offense
One thing to consider regarding Manning's dominance during his NFL tenure is that he has had free reign over the offense. While the Colts were more than willing to give Manning that responsibility, it's possible that not every team would do the same. It looks like the Seahawks would have no problem with it, though.
According to Sports Illustrated's Jim Trotter, the Seahawks would not only give Manning big money and sign Wayne as the previous rumors stated, but they would also completely change the offense to whatever Manning is most comfortable with.
That may seem like a no-brainer, but changing an offensive philosophy for one player is a big commitment. It seems conceivable, though, because Seattle's management and coaching staff undoubtedly know how successful Manning has been in the Colts' offense over the years.
Switching to Manning's offense would result in a lot of three-receiver sets, playaction passes and stretch running plays. Also, head coach Pete Carroll would have to take a step back and allow Manning to do his thing. Obviously he would have some reservations about allowing a player like Tarvaris Jackson to do something like that, but Manning certainly knows what he's doing.