In case you didn’t know, the Indianapolis Colts released Peyton Manning today, ending a 14-year relationship between the team and arguably the greatest quarterback of the 21st century. (The book’s still out on Tim Tebow. I mean, we’re still in the Old Testament! ;) ) Now a couple weeks shy of 36, and coming off of neck surgery, the QB is looking for a new team. Everyone from the Jets to the Redskins to the Eagles are rumoured to be interested, with Jerry Rice even suggesting the Niners should enter the mix. But you know who’s “ready to spend” to get Peyton? The Seattle Seahawks–at least according to some guy on Twitter, republished on SI.com. As a Seahawks fan, I fully support this endeavour.
Let’s face it, the Hawks don’t have a starting quarterback. They let Hasselbeck go too early, hoping that Tavaris Jackson would fill the void, which is kinda like hoping it will snow on Christmas–in Acapulco. And while the peanut-butter-and-tuna-fish combination of Jackson and Charlie Whitehurst could only lead the team to a 7-9 record, they do have a talented receiving corps when all the pieces are healthy, with experienced vets like Sidney Rice and Mike Williams and young up-and-comers Doug Baldwin and Golden Tate, not to mention two pass-catching tight ends in Zack Miller and John Carlson. Throw in a Beast(mode) of a running back coming off a career year–and just signed to a new, big-money contract–and you’ve got a pretty explosive offense in need of a leader. And that’s where Peyton would come in.
Yahoo Sports writer Michael Silver ranks the Seahawks sixth amongst Manning’s potential suitors, just ahead of the Jets, but behind the Redskins. That said, I think we can scratch the first three teams off his list: the Texans and Broncos already have their franchise QBs, even though Matt Schaub is hurt and Tebow is, well, Tebow. Meanwhile, the Niners are said to be close to offering a long-term deal–to their current quarterback, Alex Smith. The Dolphins and the Redskins both have the means to get a deal done, particularly the former, but having watched their offense get shut out by the Bills last fall, I can safely say that they don’t have the weapons.
Miami, on the other hand, boasts two explosive players in Brandon Marshall and Reggie Bush, though it could be argued that neither is really a character guy. Marshall begged out of Denver, while Bush got paid to play at USC–and also dated Kim Kardashian. That said, Marvin Harrison wasn’t such a nice guy off the field, as the thugs down in Philly can attest. While Peyton might wanna stay in the AFC, he would hafta play both the Pats and the Jets twice a year with Miami–along with the fearsome Bills. Hey, if he’s looking for a challenge, he would certainly find it in the AFC East…
That said, most sources seem to suggest that Peyton wants to win another title before his time is up. And of the teams showing a serious interest, I think his best shot is Seattle–unless the Jets want to throw Mark “Dirty” Sanchez under the bus. (I think the odds are about 50-50 on that one.) The NFC has long been the weaker conference, with the NFC West being its doormat division of late. Other than two games a year against the Niners, the Hawks have a pretty easy schedule in a city where it never snows. A first-round bye and homefield advantage throughout the playoffs (I don’t see the Packers repeating their record from last season) provides an easy path for Peyton to Super Bowl XLVII. In fact, I already picked the Hawks to win next year’s game (scroll down for it)–and that was assuming they’d hafta trade Lynch for Manning! With both players in the lineup, the Hawks would be unstoppable. All Peyton has to do is sign on the dotted line… ;)