Peyton Manning may or may not play football in 2012, but recently released amateur video would seem to indicate that “may” has the early lead over “may not.”
We learned earlier this evening that the 35-year-old won’t be wearing stampede blue for the first time in 15 years, as the Colts will officially release Manning to the open market on Wednesday.
That means there are 31 remaining possibilities. In terms of Vegas odds, the Cardinals lead the way, followed by Miami and Washington.
In terms of GLS odds, we’re ranking potential destinations like this:
1. Miami Dolphins: He lives in Miami, the Dolphins really need and want a new quarterback, and Miami might not have the firepower to move up and draft Robert Griffin III. Plus, this is a team that can win right now with Manning on top of his game. They have almost all of the pieces in place.
2. New York Jets: Mark Sanchez is a sub-par starter and the Jets know it. Mike Tannenbaum took a similar risk a few years ago with Brett Favre, and he might be inspired to make it right this time. And most importantly, Manning’s former coordinator, Tom Moore, is now an offensive consultant in New York.
3. Denver Broncos: Can’t you see John Elway taking a risk like this?
4. Kansas City Chiefs: When asked about it last month, Romeo Crennel wouldn’t rule it out. Plus, it’d be cool if Manning and Joe Montana both finished their careers in Kansas City.
5. Seattle Seahawks: I’m not sure this is Pete Carroll’s style, but the Seahawks have been looking for a franchise quarterback for quite a while, and neither Tarvaris Jackson nor Charlie Whitehurst is the answer.
6. Washington Redskins: Why would Manning pick the Redskins? Weak offensive line, weak receiving corps, so-so defense. He probably can’t make a championship run with this team. Washington will only land Peyton if it throws the most money at him, and even that might not be enough.
7. Arizona Cardinals: I don’t see it at all. The notoriously frugal Cardinals owe too much money to Kevin Kolb, who didn’t have much of a chance to prove himself last year. No way they get into a bidding war for a 36-year-old Manning.
8. Cleveland Browns: A possibility if they can’t move up for Griffin, but it’s hard to imagine Manning agreeing to go to Cleveland.
Unlikely darkhorses: Tennessee, San Francisco