Since the speculation began of whether or not Peyton Manning would be cut by the Colts before March 8th, numerous reports have come out as to where Manning would be the best fit. Given the prestige and skill that Manning will carry with him, he will have his fair share of suitors around the league.
But for Peyton, he will want to go somewhere that is best suited for him to be successful all while remaining healthy. After the jump, we will go through some of the possible landing spots for Peyton and give a set of pros and cons for each one.
Pros- The Jets have already made the AFC Championship on two different occasions in the past three seasons... and that is with Mark Sanchez as their quarterback. Many feel that if the Jets were able to replace the mediocre play of Sanchez, they could be title bound.
Cons- The Jets, outside of Nick Mangold and D'Brickashaw Ferguson, have a pretty shaky offensive line. On top of that, there have been many reports of a "poisonous" locker room in New York. That is the type of environment that Peyton may want to avoid.
Pros- Manning would have one of the better receivers in the game to throw to in Brandon Marshall. Also, he has one of the best left tackles in Jake Long protecting his blind side. Manning is said to own a condo in Miami already, so housing wouldn't be an issue.
Cons- Outside of Marshall, Manning's list of targets is somewhat weak. The running game struggled in South Beach, which would be necessary if the Dolphins want to keep pressure off of Manning. The Dolphins also reside in the AFC East, which is one of the more difficult divisions to play in in the NFL.
Pros- The Chiefs have a bunch of young receivers that make for great targets to whatever quarterback is starting there next season. Dwayne Bowe, Steve Breaston and Jonathan Baldwin are one of the better trios in the NFL. Throw in the return of tight end Tony Moeaki and you have a very formidable group.
Cons- The Chiefs are coming off a poor season and a lot of turnover looks to be headed their way. They already fired head coach Todd Haley, so Manning will be walking into an offensive system that not only is unfamiliar to him, but also to the players he will be throwing to. The Chiefs also had the worst right tackle in the league with Barry Richardson according to Pro Football Focus, so that position will need to be addressed.
Pros- Manning would enter a division who's winner just won the Super Bowl with a 9-7 record. The run game came together towards the end of the season under rookie Roy Helu, so that should help if Peyton decides to go there.
Cons- There are quite a few negatives when looking at D.C. as a possible destination for Peyton. First of all, it's cold weather in a stadium without a dome. Next, Mike Shanahan is the coach and knowing that guy, he might not be afraid to bench Manning just to prove a point. The only weapons Manning would have are Santana Moss and Fred Davis, who are both average at best. The offensive line is absolutely terrible. Oh, and Peyton would have to play his brother, Eli Manning, twice a year.
Pros- The 49ers made it all the way to the NFC Championship last season with a reborn Alex Smith under center. They have a top tier defense and a powerful run game with a quarterback friendly coach. In a weak NFC West division, the 49ers could prove to be a great place for Manning to play.
Cons- The 49ers had most of their success last season by running the ball and asking their quarterback to make timely throws. If Manning were to go to Candlestick Park, that offensive play style would be flipped completely upside down. The offensive line would be forced to pass block far more often, which is something that everyone outside of Mike Iupati struggled with. The 49ers also lack a solid group of receivers. Vernon Davis is one of the best receiving tight ends in the league, but Michael Crabtree can be inconsistent and the receivers behind him on the depth chart are questionable.
Pros- The Cardinals have an up and coming defense and could be a QB away from making another big postseason run. They have one of the best receivers in the game with Larry Fitzgerald and are expected to drastically improve their offensive line during the offseason. With Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams carrying the ball, the run game should be even better in 2012. Like the 49ers, the Cards play in the NFC West, which should be one of the easier divisions to work towards a title through.
Cons- Behind Fitzgerald, there are a few question marks. Andre Roberts and Early Doucet cannot be considered solid #2 wide receivers at this point. The Cards also don't have a lot of salary cap room to work with, so signing top tier offensive line free agents may not be something they can do right away. The team would owe Kevin Kolb some money, since he would be cut to make cap room for Manning.
What do you think? What pros and cons would you add? How about other possible teams? Where do you think Manning will end up? Tell us in the comments section below.
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