Peyton Manning Rumors: Why the Miami Dolphins Still Make Most Sense

Vincent FrankCorrespondent IMarch 13, 2012

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

As Peyton Manning continues his whirlwind tour of awe-inspired franchises, we are set to begin free agency on a full scale this afternoon.

Of course that isn't going to take the focus off Manning. After all, he is probably the most prized free agent in the history of the National Football League.

With four teams involved in the courtship, I have decided to take a look at the one that makes the most sense right now.


The Miami Dolphins

Despite the fact that Jeff Ireland and Stephen Ross really haven't set the world on fire with their tactics as of late, they should be in the driver's seat to land Manning. There are numerous reasons for this, I plan to touch on most of them in this article.


Manning's Best Chance at Winning

I cannot put it anymore bluntly than this. The Arizona Cardinals and Denver Broncos really don't give Manning the best chance at winning in 2012. I am going to work under the presupposition that winning is his ultimate end goal here.

If so, he must choose the Dolphins

The Arizona Cardinals might have won seven of their final nine games last season, but they do not have the talent to win the NFC West with the San Francisco 49ers in that division. This is a team that gave up a league-high 54 sacks last season. They don't have the cap room to upgrade along the offensive line and we all know that rookie tackles struggle a great deal in the NFL.

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 04:  Kevin Kolb #4 of the Arizona Cardinals holds onto the ball as he gets sacked against the Dallas Cowboys at University of Phoenix Stadium on December 4, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Norm Hall/Getty Images

In short, you put Manning behind that offensive line and you are looking at all the indicators of him not being able to finish the season healthy.

The Broncos might have the talent to win the AFC West, but this doesn't mean that they can compete in the conference. Even with Manning, I'm having a hard time believing that the Broncos are anywhere near as good as the Baltimore Ravens, Houston Texans and New England Patriots.


Miami Dolphins Have a Ton of Talent

First, Manning will have a franchise blindside protector in the form of Jake Long. Second, he would have a solid running back duo in Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas. Finally, the Dolphins have a true No. 1 receiver in Brandon Marshall.

Reggie Wayne has also indicated his desire to join Manning in South Beach.

"So me being in his trail onto Miami? I would love it. I would definitely love it. I am totally available, my phone is working."

If the Dolphins are able to pair Wayne up with Marshall, they would have one dynamic duo on the outside for Manning. This makes Miami that much more dangerous on the offensive side of the ball.

ORCHARD PARK, NY - DECEMBER 18:  Brandon Marshall #19 of the Miami Dolphins drops a touchdown pass against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium  on December 18, 2011 in Orchard Park, New York.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

They also have a tremendous amount of talent on the defensive side of the ball. If the Dolphins offense is actually able to sustain meaningful drives, which will happen with a healthy Manning in the fold, their defense is going to be much stronger.

There is only a certain amount of watching three-and-outs from the sideline before a defense loses confidence in the offense's ability to actually help them win a darn football game.


Quarterback is the Missing Piece

As I mentioned above, the Dolphins have a lot of talent on this roster. The primary thing holding them back last season was quarterback play. While Matt Moore was a good game-manager, he isn't going to blow the proverbial socks off of anyone.

If the Dolphins are able to snag Manning, they immediately become the biggest threat to the consistent dominance in the division by the New England Patriots. They also become a top five team in the AFC, a situation that actually makes them a conference championship contender.


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