Divorce is never easy. Whether you have been married for one year or 20 years, splitting with someone who you have shared so much with is never easy. We saw a lot of that when Colts owner Jim Irsay and Peyton Manning held their press conference on Wednesday to announce that the Colts and Manning were officially going their separate ways.
The Manning buzz has gone full force, with media outlets making speculations as to where Peyton will finally sign the dotted line. "He doesn't want to play in cold weather." "He doesn't want to play against his brother Eli." The frenzy has gotten so extreme that when photos of Peyton getting out off his plane in South Beach surfaced, Twitter almost exploded. He was just en route to his condo, but speculation that he was meeting with the Dolphins ran rampant. Expect that to go on all day everyday until he finally chooses his final destination.
I won't go into detail as to which teams have a shot. Ray wrote a "Where Will Manning Play Next?" article on Wednesday. As of Thursday, the Broncos, Chiefs, Jaguars, Cardinals, Dolphins, Redskins, Jets, Texans and Seahawks have all been in the rumor mill. Instead of going over the possibilities, I want to talk about Manning's fantasy value. How much does it hold now that he isn't in the comfortable confines of Lucas Oil Stadium? Right now there are two places that have not only been heavily linked to Peyton within the last 48 hours, but also two places where he would want to play and would give him the best shot at keeping his status as a QB1.
Arizona Cardinals - FOX Sports' Adam Schein reported Thursday that Manning is "very intrigued" by the idea of playing with Larry Fitzgerald. Who wouldn't? The Cardinals have a legit run game if they can keep Beanie Wells healthy and they have an up-and-coming defense. And Manning could easily make current starter Andre Roberts a legit weapon across from Fitz. He's worked wonders with unknown guys before. Arizona basically wasted a second-round pick for Kevin Kolb last year. But if they have a chance to land Manning, releasing Kolb won't weigh too much on the front office's minds.
Miami Dolphins - The Dolphins seem like the top contender right now. Owner Stephen Ross has made it known that bringing in Manning is the team's No. 1 priority numerous times. No reason that scenario is going to change now. He isn't as good as Larry Fitzgerald, but Brandon Marshall has the tools to be a fantasy WR1. Inconsistent quarterback play is the one big thing that has limited his value. With the one-two punch of Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas, the Dolphins running game should increase in value as well. Archie Manning and his wife would love to see Peyton go to an AFC team so the chances of there being an "All-Manning Super Bowl" increases. I'm just not sure how much papa's wishes will weigh on Peyton's decision however.
Agree? Disagree? Do you think the Chiefs give Peyton a better shot? The Jets? What about the Broncos? Comment below and lets hear your choice.