Muscle Sport Magazine

Peyton Manning Sweepstakes Begin; Miami Still Safest Bet Over Denver, Arizona, KC, Tennessee

The method in which Peyton Manning left town was the antithesis of LeBron James, and there were only tears of love shed for number 18. Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay cut ties with the face of the franchise and will take his chances with Andrew Luck, while Manning said all the right things on the way to his next destination.

The $64,000 question is what his forwarding address will read. The ink was barely dry on his walking papers before a whole litany of teams contacted Manning’s representatives trying to set up appointments. In fairness to him, Manning didn’t even waste some organization’s time and let them know they were not in consideration. Washington is one, and it appears that the Jets were also politely told no, prompting them to kiss and make up with incumbent quarterback Mark Sanchez to the tune of a three-year extension with two to go on his original rookie contract.

So what was a good portion of the league has been narrowed down to a select few. The future Hall of Famer will receive a huge contract regardless of where he ends up and Manning’s multiple neck surgeries seem to be an afterthought to these smitten teams:


The locals have launched an entire website dedicated in wooing Manning to South Florida and the team is in a partial rebuilding mode, which may have some effect on the decision. The big difference is that Manning can make the Fins an immediate contender and their offense was not that far off, even with Matt Moore behind center. Brandon Marshall, Reggie Bush and Jake Long are quite a trio to entice a veteran QB to town. Also factor in the status that the Dolphins have throughout the league and the fact that they are on of the storied franchises in need of a boost to return to some of their past glories.

Analysis: The best bet for Manning, especially if the Fish agree to bring in Reggie Wayne with him.



Manning would prefer to remain in the AFC, but Arizona is a pretty nice option if he chooses to switch conferences. Beautiful weather, impressive home stadium and Larry Fitzgerald to throw to. The negatives are Bill Bidwell and the vagabond losing reputation the Cardinals have had throughout their multiple city history. Also, what do they do with Kevin Kolb? They gave up a lot last summer in the trade with the Eagles and will have to admit they erred if they cut him.

Analysis: Not a bead second choice and Manning can be the hero of the desert if he can win a ring.


The positives: AFC team and John Elway running the show. The negatives: not an automatic contender with Manning and the Tim Tebow factor. The young lefty took the city and league by storm and even though there are still question marks surrounding his level of play, it would be a mistake to trade a young former first round pick to take a chance on a creaky veteran. A lucky playoff team a year ago, there are no guarantees that the Broncos can perform the same miracles without Tebow around.

Analysis: A mistake if they do it. Tebow is going to only improve and can lead the team for years to come. 


Bringing in Joe Montana got the Chiefs to the AFC Championship Game, so maybe they figure that Manning can take them one step further. Matt Cassel is the starter and they would have to break ties with him and put all their eggs in the Manning basket. A team in transition and probably not one that Manning would care to retire with on a losing note.

Analysis: A real long shot if Manning decides to come to Kaycee. Not enough talent and the team is in a transition period. 


A late entrant in the Manning sweepstakes, the Titans got by with veteran Matt Hasselbeck and rookie Jake Locker in 2011. Owner Bud Adams was very clear in stating that he wanted to bring in the former Colt and it would actually make sense in a number of ways. The team overachieved last year and does have some talent. They would cut ties with Hasselbeck and let Locker learn from one of the best of all time. Of course, they will use the Volunteers connection with the town to try to lure Manning to the Music City.

Analysis: Probably not going to happen, but an interesting fit for Manning if he wants to listen.

Photo by Bill Menzel

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