We take pride in predicting outcomes and being wrong. Hey, remember when I wrote that Blaine Gabbert has a more promising future than Cam Newton? Good times.
There’s clearly no right or wrong with Peyton Manning’s future and the ongoing effort to prognosticate his next landing spot, a movement that’s currently breaking keyboards around the Internet. We gave our top eight yesterday, because 10 would have required too much effort, and five is far too generic. Our list led with the Dolphins, the obvious leader at this point, and included the Broncos, the only Manning destination that would actually lead to vicious angst, with the lunatic fringe enraged due to the death of Tebowmania.
Then today we learned that there’s at least 34 teams interested in Manning. If anyone can start an expansion movement purely to acquire his services, it’s Peyton Manning.
In the spirit of March Madness, ESPN’s Adam Schefter came out with his top four, a group that includes Mark Sanchez’s demise in New York.
From the D.C. Sports Bog:
“I think the Final Four teams to watch at this particular point in time are the Miami Dolphins, the Washington Redskins, the New York Jets and the Arizona Cardinals. Those are the teams that most people around the league believe have a legitimate chance to go out and try to land Peyton Manning.”
Those four seem to be the general consensus right now in the early hours after Colts owner Jim Irsay mercifully finalized the release of his franchise quarterback for the past 14 years during an emotional press conference. Manning becoming a free agent is’t instantaneous since he has to clear waivers, a process that finishes at about 4 p.m. ET.
So as I write this we’re a little less than two hours away from Manning Watch escalating to a whole new stratosphere of excitement/annoyance.
And don’t think this will be over at 4:01:01 p.m. ET either. As Manning said multiple times this afternoon, being a free agent is an entirely foreign concept to him, so he’ll want to take his time and explore his options. Then there’s the obvious hurdle of his health, and teams will tediously poke and prod his neck to ensure that they’re not investing in a flawed product.
If the process drags on longer than a week, the Cardinals may be forced to drop out by default since Kevin Kolb is due a $7 million bonus next Saturday.