A healthy Manning plus the San Francisco 49ers equals an instant Super Bowl favorite heading into the 2012 NFL season.
Steve Young recently gave an interview with ESPN where he gave his candid take on the Manning situation to 49ers news:
Trent Baalke laid low, he did the research, Jim Harbaugh threw with Peyton Manning. They didn’t get in the front pages. They know that they are the best answer for Peyton Manning. They know they have the best defense in the league to offer. They know they have the offensive weapons. They know they have Jim Harbaugh. They know all the pieces in place for Peyton Manning. It is the best opportunity for Peyton Manning. They knew it, and they waited for the wannabes to exhaust themselves, and then they came in right at the end, and that’s why I think they’ll probably land him at this point. I know Peyton Manning is looking for a team to join now and win a division now and go to the Super Bowl now. That’s the San Francisco 49ers.
One thing I can take from all of this is that Manning is getting darn near close to being fully healthy. A healthy Manning with the 49ers would be...there are no words.
Trent Baalke and Jim Harbaugh brilliantly navigated the tricky market to snag two dangerous pass-catching threats at bargain prices.
After limping out of the NFC championship game with a wide receiving corps that featured practice squad players, the 49ers now boast one of the most dangerous groups in the entire league.
Let me just run down the starting lineup for you: Frank Gore as the starting tailback, Bruce Miller the athletic fullback who can also catch, Vernon Davis as the starting tight end, Randy Moss on one side of the field and Mario Manningham on the other with Michael Crabtree and Delanie Walker waiting in the wings for duties in the slot or as an H-back.
They're freaking loaded.
The offensive line has some issues that need to be resolved, but a healthy, motivated Leonard Davis as the starting right guard to fill the gap between Jonathan Goodwin and Anthony Davis would solve those issues straight away.
How in the world is Manning going to say no to this?
From many standpoints, that would seem to be the most attractive offer to Manning if he were concerned about the next 25 years of his life.
Stability for the long term is appealing to some, but Manning seems to be looking for one thing only: Super Bowl rings.
So why hasn't he pulled the trigger on either one of those incredible deals?
The best chance for Manning to get Super Bowl rings is in San Francisco. We don't yet know what the 49ers and Manning may have talked about as in terms of a contract, but that isn't unusual for Baalke and Harbaugh.
Does the addition of Manningham and Moss make the 49ers favorites to land Manning?
The 49ers don't divulge these things to the press, and I'm of the opinion that this tight-lipped culture will be appealing to Manning, along with the shiny new toys they've brought in.
The 49ers aren't flashy.
They didn't even offer Harbaugh the most money, but somehow he decided that San Francisco was the place to be.
I must admit I'm a bit tentative to throw myself all the way into hoping this dream could possibly come true, but if Harbaugh is satisfied with the condition of Manning's recovery and the 49ers do indeed lure him over to the West Coast, I will go absolutely bonkers waiting for training camp to begin.
Manning must realize that San Francisco, not Tennessee or Denver, is the best destination for him in his quest to win another ring.
Like Harbaugh, he must realize that this is where he needs to be.