It's getting toward the end of Super Bowl week, which means the endless breakdown of the upcoming Super Bowl is starting to get stale for most casual fans. By sheer coincidence, the media is given another pipeline of stories because of what is going on with the legendary quarterback who plays for the team in Indianapolis, which happens to be the location of the Super Bowl.
Every day there seems to be a new report regarding the status of Manning's neck injury, as some claim he is finished, while Manning insists his health is steadily improving and he plans to play in 2012. This is such a unique injury that there is no reference point in history to project Manning's future in the NFL, so for the purpose of speculation, let's assume he is healthy by about mid-summer. Because of this, the Colts have released Manning and he is free to sign with any team.
Here are the top suitors for Manning to play in 2012:
Why he would: If Manning is on the open market, you can bet on the Skins making a play for him. First, Snyder is not afraid to eat guaranteed money to have a chance of bringing his franchise back to relevancy. With a new quarterback and a few more pieces on offense, combined with a pretty solid defense, the Redskins would be poised to make a run in a pretty so-so division. To me, they have the best chance to land him.
Why he wouldn't: Dan Snyder himself is going to be somewhat of a deterrent, but getting along with an ego like Mike Shanahan is not a given. Plus, when you look at the weapons and offensive line of the Redskins, it really doesn't give you a big reason to get excited.
Why he would: Like the Redskins, they seem to be just a quarterback away from being contenders, but they have some real weapons on offense. Throwing to Sidney Rice and Zach Miller behind an improving line give Manning a great chance to succeed.
Why he wouldn't: Seattle isn't necessarily known as an inviting place for quarterbacks that have not played home games outside in over a decade. Seattle is also more of a run-first offense, and philosophies may collide.
New York Jets
Why he would: Of all of the teams on this list, the Jets may be the most talented team. With three Pro Bowl lineman, Santonio Holmes and Dustin Keller on offense, combined with a defense that has been a top-5 unit since Rex Ryan's arrival it seems too easy for a guy like Manning to win games. With everyone down on Sanchez as a leader, what better guy to bring in than a 4-time MVP?
Why he wouldn't: The Jets brought in Tony Sparano to get back to the ground game, which is the total opposite of what Manning would want to do. Plus, why would Manning come to a cold, outdoor stadium that he would share with his brother, who may be coming off a Super Bowl win by the time he gets to town? Plus, the Jets are going to have PR problems with Sanchez after marketing him as their franchise quarterback for over the past three years.
Why he would: Miami has to be another favorite to land Manning, as their owner is obsessed with star talent, especially at the quarterback position. They have pieces on offense and a new coach that will probably bend to what Peyton wants to do. The nice weather in South Beach is a plus.
Why he wouldn't: You can look at the dysfunction in Miami since Parcells left and be quickly turned off by it. Plus, with a new coach in place, the Dolphins may be more interested in long-term growth than a quick fix.