INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 07: Peyton Manning (L) speaks as Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay listens during a press conference announcing that the Colts will release of Manning at Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center on March 7, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joey Foley/Getty Images)
With Peyton Manning being officially released by the Indianapolis Colts as of yesterday, the all-time great quarterback will hit the open market for the first time in his NFL career. There will be plenty of teams that put bids in for his services. The ones that are expected to make a hard run at him include: the Dolphins, the Redskins, the Jets and the Arizona Cardinals. Many fans and football analysts have pointed towards Arizona as the best situation for Peyton to come into and have a shot at another title.
According to Fox Sports columnist and radio show host, Adam Schein, Manning has already begun his search and Arizona is among his short list of destinations.
In Schein's, "Schein 9" column, he stated that according to his sources, Manning has put out 'feelers' to see if Arizona would be a logical destination for him to land. We have gone over all of the reasons why the desert would be a perfect fit for Manning: the dome, Larry Fitzgerald, a young and upcoming defense, a good stable of running backs, etc. But what was especially intriguing is that Manning seems to be attracted to the idea of playing under Cardinals Head Coach, Ken Whisenhunt.
Whisenhunt has had plenty of success during his time in Arizona. Most notably, he was able to help another future Hall of Fame quarterback in Kurt Warner and the pair brought the team to the Super Bowl. Manning wishes to know more about Coach Whiz, so he will be talking to people around the league about him as well.
The last thing that Schein noted was that if Manning were to sign with Arizona, Reggie Wayne would undoubtedly come with him. The Cardinals are in need of a true #2 wide receiver anyway, so Wayne makes sense on a variety of levels.
According to the Arizona Republic's Dan Bickley, the trio of Cardinals President Michael Bidwill, GM Rod Graves and Ken Whisenhunt are heavily pursuing Manning. So far, the reports coming out of Cardinals camp have been almost non-existent, mainly due to the fact that these are the only three people working on the issue. What this tells us is not only do they want him, but that Michael Bidwill looks like he will be willing to spend whatever it takes to get him in a red uniform.
Oh, by the way, the last time we heard Schein talk about which quarterback would be playing in Arizona, he was dead on. Hopefully his sources are just as accurate this time around.
Buckle your seat belts, Cardinals fans. This is going to be one hell of a ride.