As the entire sporting world and beyond now knows, Peyton Manning is no longer a Colt. After playing in Indianapolis for 14 season, building the franchise to one of the most successful in the NFL while earning 4 league MVP titles and one Superbowl ring, Manning is now a FREE AGENT; let the choas begin!
Last night Peyton Manning had been released for less than 12 hours, yet it was all you could hear about in the sports world. His press conference littered sportscasts while a multitude of teams picked up their phones as soon as possible, trying to find out if they can lure the future hall-of-famer to their city. The Broncos and Redskins were first, then the Chiefs and Dolphins were quick into the mix along with the Seahawks and Jets, with each rumour accompanied by a side story. NFL.com has reported that Manning would prefer to play in the AFC still, but is open to anything. There are multiple sources claiming the Miami Dolphins have the advantage with the location and weather as well as Manning’s friendship with former Dolphins star Dan Marino. LaDainian Tomlinson has been interviewed and has stated he would like to see Manning come to New York to play, but that current starting QB Mark Sanchez would be unwilling to serve as Manning’s backup and would request a trade.
A friend of mine strongly believes that Peyton will only go to a team that he thinks has a chance of winning a title and thinks the Chiefs are on the tops of that list. They have Jamaal Charles returning from injury and a trio of talented wideouts in Dwayne Bowe, Jonathan Baldwin and Steve Breaston. Despite tough year the Dolphins have a top receiver in Brandon Marshall as well as solid option in Davone Bess and Brian Hartline. Peyton to Marshall would likely become a very common saying should the move be made. WR Reggie Wayne has also stated that he would love to rejoin Manning in Miami. Peyton, Marshall, and Wayne, as a Fins fan I must say I am intrigued.
I have spent the last few seasons having very little love for Peyton Manning, he, along with Tom Brady were two QB’s I loved to harp on every chance I got, but now the prospect f having him as my QB is increasingly tempting. As much as I have loved to hate Peyton through the years, I must admit I have been impressed by this whole situation. Indianapolis owes Manning for the success of their football club, a new stadium and for helping build the entire city of Indy. If I gave 14 years of my career, my life to a team, 14 years of unwavering excitement and success; just to be released once I got to expensive, I would be very angry, more so upset. Manning has every right to be upset with what has taken place, but he is smart enough, strong enough, and prepared enough to understand that no matter what he does for Indy, NFL football is a business and this was always a possibility.
In the end, I have gained a new sense of respect for Peyton Manning, though I only really ever hated on him out of jealousy, don’t we all. Yesterday he showed how much the Colts and the city meant to him, he showed just how emotional of an event this is for him. He showed me that behind everything else, behind the commercials, the success, behind the arm is a man who loves to play football, and will play football again. Now the question is who he will play for. Didn’t think I’d catch my self saying this anytime but here goes, MANNING IN MIAMI 2012!!!
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