Before football fans were treated to an unlikely overtime playoff victory by Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos over the Pittsburgh Steelers, Charley Casserly sent Arizona Cardinals fans and followers into a tizzy. On the pregame show on CBS, the topic of Peyton Manning came up and the Arizona Cardinals did in the same sentence.
According to Casserly, if the Indianapolis Colts cut ties with Manning, the Cardinals could be a possible destination.
"One team to watch? The Arizona Cardinals. They can get out of the Kevin Kolb contract and also Ken Whisenhunt's been down this road before. A veteran quarterback coming in at the end of his career? Kurt Warner."
Could this really happen?
I suppose it is a possibility, but it is nothing but pure speculation.
Yes, the Cardinals could get out of Kolb's contract, avoiding his $7 million roster bonus in March, but it gets a little tricky.
It is unknown what the exact date of his roster bonus. One could suppose that it could be the first day of the new NFL season, which is March 13, but it might be before or even after.
Timing would be hard to do.
Manning is due a huge bonus on March 8, and while there has been talk of delaying that bonus, it appears that because of NFLPA language, it will be very hard to do, if it is even possible.
Let's assume that Peyton is cut. It will probably come right before the deadline. He can then sign with the team of his choice. The likelihood of his signing within a day or two is slim. If he is healthy enough to play, he will be looking for the perfect situation to play -- somewhere he could step in and contend for a Super Bowl right away. That could be the Cardinals, based on personnel and the defense, but salary comes into play, too.
I just don't see him picking his new team too quickly. That is the tough part. Assuming Kolb's bonus comes due on the 13th, that gives little time for the team to decide whether to make the decision to go after Manning and sign him. It would be foolish to cut Kolb before Manning's deal is in place.
Plus, according to Kent Somers, the team plans on paying the bonus.
If they are planning to pay the bonus, it seems unlikely that they would be willing to pay Manning what he will command.
As for the second posit of Casserly, that is simply coincidence. He fails to note that Whiz didn't go and acquire Warner. He already had him and had to revive his career. What sometimes gets lost in the mix is that Warner's rejuvenation was in large part because of what the Cardinals coaching staff did with him in improving his ball security and putting him in a position to have to go out and win the job.
The idea that Whiz had success with one aging veteran means he will have success with another is silly. Manning obviously still has something in the tank if he can be cleared to play. That of course is the other factor, No one even knows if he will be able to play again.
So, could Peyton Manning throwing to Larry Fitzgerald really happen? As much as it is something out of our dreams, it is very much a longshot. Literally, it was Casserly tossing names out there.
Last week, while on Mike and Mike, Adam Schefter (making sure to clarify that he is not reporting, but rather speculating based on QB situations) mentioned teams in the East with QB situations (Washington, Miami) and even mentioned San Francisco. But he never even brought up Arizona.
Peyton Manning could end up in Arizona. But then again, Rich Bartel could be the starting quarterback in 2012.
At least it is fun to talk about for a bit.