No sooner after Peyton Manning and Jim Irsay concluded their tearful and heartfelt press conference announcing the release of Manning from the Colts organization; did the speculation of where Peyton could and should be headed shift into overdrive. In that instant the greatest free agent in recent NFL history was released into a market where he is without a doubt the hottest commodity. In a league where an elite triggerman is needed to win a Superbowl, all of the usual quarterback-needy suspects emerged. The Washington Redskins, Miami Dolphins, Arizona Cardinals, and the Seattle Seahawks come to mind. Some not so usual suspects arose as well like the New York Jets and San Francisco 49ers. While all of these teams will certainly be able to have some good reason to believe that they can and should acquire Peyton; some of these teams should not and others will not. They should drop out of the race right now because if you win and do get Manning it will be far from cheap and your team will not be set in the long run.
I believe the Redskins should use free agency to acquire wide receivers. While they will undoubtedly give Peyton a look the price will be too steep and they will opt to build a team through free agency in an attempt to give weapons to the rookie quarterback they should draft, whether that be Robert Griffin III or Ryan Tannehill. The Redskins tried the quick fix veteran quarterback before but to no avail.
The 49ers had a good run with Alex Smith and he gave them a good enough season to believe that he could do it again. He’s by far a cheaper option and one that works. Furthermore Smith is younger and at the moment more healthy than is Manning. While one could argue that San Francisco is an elite quarterback away from a Superbowl, the 49ers would greatly benefit from a deep threat to go along with their strong running game and tight end.
All of the other teams mentioned should scramble and do whatever it takes to get Manning. There just aren’t enough quarterbacks to go around.