Peyton Manning Rumors: Cardinals, Dolphins Emerging as Front-Runners for QB

T.J. McaloonContributorMarch 9, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 07:  Peyton Manning attends a press conference announcing Manning's release from the Colts at Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center on March 7, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Joey Foley/Getty Images)
Joey Foley/Getty Images

Peyton Manning has been a free agent for no more than a day and there are two teams emerging as favorites to land the quarterback: the Arizona Cardinals and the Miami Dolphins. 

The Dolphins have been the most vocal possible suitor for Manning’s services for the foreseeable future. According to Yahoo! News:

"I haven't thought about teams and I don't know who is interested, I really don't. This is all new to me. But look, the Miami Dolphins have a great organization, a great history there, they have new people in place. And so you have no idea what teams are interested."

When the Dolphins hired Joe Philbin as coach in January, team officials privately said owner Stephen Ross would strongly pursue Manning if he became available. 

Manning already has a home in Miami, as when he left his press conference announcing his departure from the Colts he flew on a private jet to his condo in South Florida.  

However, it isn’t just the Dolphins personnel trying to attract Manning to the Dolphins; some of the other athletes in Miami are weighing in on Manning to the Dolphins, too:

Heat guard Dwyane Wade tweeted that he liked the idea of Manning joining the Dolphins.

Wade said, "peyton that number 18 wld look gr8 in a dolphins uniform..steve ross let's go.. marlins & heat style..All in."

James also endorsed the notion of Manning joining the Dolphins.

"Hey, I'm just saying, I heard the Dolphins need a quarterback," he said. "And Peyton is available." 

However, the Cardinals are coming strong after Manning, trying to sway him because of how their team is closer to making the Super Bowl. This has led CBS NFL analysis Rich Gannon to say "CBS’ Rich Gannon said Arizona makes sense because the Cardinals have a 'dome, quarterback-friendly offense and [receiver] Larry Fitzgerald.'"

Follow this up with Adam Schein of FOX Sports Arizona, who says the Cardinals and Manning are a perfect match: 

Meet Peyton Manning, starting quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals. 

It just makes too much sense. 

Sources tell us the Arizona Cardinals want to sign Manning. They would eradicate Kevin Kolb from the roster. John Skelton, a quarterback whom Ken Whisenhunt likes a lot and won with in the second half last year, would be the backup and insurance in case Manning got hurt. Manning, according to different sources, has put out feelers about the Cardinals. He is very intrigued by playing with Larry Fitzgerald and bringing Wayne along as his wingman. 

There are 10 other teams that have said they are interested in Manning. However, these two teams look like the leaders coming out of the “Peyton Manning Free Agency Sweepstakes.”