Let's indulge in some fantasy today.
You know about Fantasy Football.
Today we present our own version of Fantasy Football.
We're talking Peyton Manning—let go by Indianapolis, free to go wherever he wants and they're lining up in a hurry. Seven teams have already said publicly they have huge interest in Manning: the Cardinals, Seahawks, Broncos, Dolphins, Jets, Titans and Redskins.
Who's the front runner? Well, Peyton does have a home in Miami.
There are another five who are keeping their identities secret.
Do you think, for a moment, that the Buccaneers could be one of them?
Granted, I know what you're thinking. It is too early to give up on Josh Freeman. We've seen the "good" Josh Freeman and when that guy was out there, things were a lot better.
But this is Fantasy Football, here's what Peyton Manning could do for the Bucs:
1. Sellouts: Talk about exciting the fanbase. Peyton Manning would fill Raymond James Stadium and that's something we haven't seen in a while.
Would you be excited to see Manning in Tampa?
2. Instant contender: The Bucs would become an instant contender for a playoff berth; they would contend for the NFC South title. We don't know yet who New Orleans is about to lose in free agency, but it will be a weaker Saints team in 2012.
We don't know what the penalties might be for Dog The Bounty Hunter, er, Sean Payton. He could face a suspension and that won't help the Saints if it were to happen.
3. Mike Williams and Arrelious Benn: We'd find out in a hurry if those two guys were any good. Of course, if Manning were here, the Bucs would have to sign Reggie Wayne. Wow, a vertical passing game and an underneath passing game.
4. A running game: Peyton Manning would open things up for the running game, no matter who was running.
5. Take the pressure off the defense: Peyton Manning knows how to put up points. That would take some of the heat off the defense.
6. National attention: The Bucs don't have much of a national profile, especially after last year's debacle. Peyton Manning at the helm would have everyone talking about Tampa Bay.
7. Televised games: The Bucs would be on national television a bunch of times.
8. Instant respect: The team laughed at Raheem Morris. They would have to take the team very seriously with Manning aboard. Talk about respect.
9. Give it up, Sammie: No problem getting Sammie Stroughter to give up No. 18.
Yes, there would be a huge buzz at One Buccaneer Place—a huge buzz all over town.
Sadly, we now blink twice and return to reality. We'll settle for some decent free-agent help.
Hey, it was a fun dream, wasn't it?