Manning’s slow decision-making starting to affect other players, teams

Alex Smith will be in Miami on Sunday to meet with the Dolphins and perhaps the only reason he’s paying a visit to South Florida is because of Peyton Manning’s drawn out decision-making.

That’s not meant to be a slap at Manning. Whereas Brett Favre often dragged his feet so that he could stroke his massive ego, Peyton is just thorough. But he’s so thorough that it’s starting to have an affect on other teams and players, such as Smith.

A couple of days ago it seemed like a lock that Smith would return to ‘Frisco. But then the Niners emerged as a “sleeper candidate” to land Manning and now Smith is across the country in Miami. Everyone involved in this situation is essentially doing what he has to do. Manning doesn’t want to make a rash decision on where he wants to play next, so he’s taking his time. The 49ers clearly see Manning as an upgrade over Smith, or else they would have just brought back Smith by now. Thus, Smith is now in Miami, which also needs a quarterback because Matt Flynn has yet to take the Dolphins up on their contract offer.

Hopefully in the upcoming days everything will be sorted out and if Manning lands in Tennessee or Denver, it’s likely that Smith will head back to San Francisco and Miami will still have a shot to land Flynn. But there’s also a chance that someone gets screwed here.

Let’s say Smith does sign with the Dolphins and Manning agrees to terms with Tennessee. Then who starts for the Niners next season? Colin Kaepernick? And if Smith winds up back in San Francisco, Manning signs with either Tennessee or Denver, and Flynn signs with Seattle, then who will start for Miami next season? Matt Moore? Plus, if Manning winds up with Tennessee or Denver, what happens to Matt Hasselbeck or Tim Tebow?

Even though Manning has every right to take his time and not let outside factors determine how quickly he signs, somebody is likely to wind up playing some bad cards in 2012.

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Peyton Manning’s next contract to be around $90 million?

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning looks for a receiver during their NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans in Nashville, Tennessee, December 9, 2010. REUTERS/M.J. Masotti Jr. (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

This just in: NFL owners are insane.

According to NFL Network’s Albert Breer, the parameters of the five-year, $90 million contract that Peyton Manning signed last year with the Colts are serving as the “starting point for negotiations on his next deal.”

Let’s push the rewind button for a second. This is the same Manning that is coming off four neck surgeries and may not be able to withstand one more hit in the NFL, nevertheless countless hits over the next five years.

Seeing as how he makes the league more competitive and fun to watch, I’m pulling for him to rebound and be the same player he was before. But the fact remains that until he gets on that field again, he’s the ultimate risk. I’ve spoken with former athletes who have dealt with similar nerve damage and they were never the same following surgery. They would throw a ball as hard as they could only to have their entire arm go numb for the next 20 minutes. And while Manning might not suffer through the same misfortunate, who knows where he’ll be in September when he starts taking hits from 290-pound defensive ends.

Whichever team signs him will sell a lot of Manning No. 18 jerseys, or at least that’s what these owners are probably thinking. And considering he has multiple teams interested in his services, there’s no reason for Peyton not to ask for big money and play it off like 2011 was a complete aberration. If teams are willing to pay, good for him and his representatives for making them pony up to see which cards he’s holding.

But $18 million a season for the next five years? Yikes. Obviously we have no idea how the final contract will be structured and the total number could be much less than $90 million. In fact, the Denver Post reports that the Broncos’ offer is for $60 million, with $30 million guaranteed.

That said, $60 million is still a ton of money for a team to be investing in, for all intents and purposes, a complete unknown. Peyton isn’t going to take a $5 million “show me deal,” nor should he. But unless that $90 million turns out to be an incentive-laden deal (which is unlikely), then whichever team lands him might as well start holding its breath the minute he signs on the dotted line. Because they don’t quite know what they’re getting for their money and one workout at Duke isn’t going to tell them either.

Report: Manning leaves Arizona after a 6.5-hour visit with Cardinals

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning looks down field in the third quarter against the Arizona Cardinals during their NFL football game in Glendale, Arizona, September 27, 2009. Manning threw four touchdown passes to guide the unbeaten Indianapolis Colts to a 31-10 victory over the Cardinals. REUTERS/Rick Scuteri (UNITED STATES SPORT FOOTBALL)

Following a 6.5-hour visit with the Cardinals, Peyton Manning has left Tempe tweets Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic. Somers says that he’s not sure were Peyton is off to next as the quarterback continues his free agent tour around the country.

This is what Rotowold had to say on the matter:

If you’re keeping score at home, the visit lasted a half hour long than his Broncos trip. Manning was driven out of the facility by coach Ken Whisenhunt. OL coach Russ Grimm, Larry Fitzgerald, and president Michael Bidwill also participated in the meeting. There is still no indication as to where Manning will play football in 2012, and he’s not known to have set up a meeting with the Dolphins. He’s now expected to return to his Miami vacation home.

Boy, I bet Kevin Kolb is feeling pretty secure about his situation in Arizona right about now. While he sits at home following a bust of a first season with the Cardinals, his head coach, his No. 1 receiver, and his team’s president are all out wining and dining Peyton Manning. At least if Manning signs elsewhere Kolb is going to get a pretty nice “We’re sorry for flirting with Peyton Manning” gift in the form of a $7 million bonus due on March 17. But if Manning does indeed land in the desert then Kolb will likely be looking for work just one year after arriving to Arizona.

At least on the surface, the Cardinals look like the perfect fit for Manning. They play in a dome, they have one of the best receivers in the game in Fitzgerald, and they’re only four years removed from appearing in the Super Bowl. My gut says he’ll wind up in Denver but all signs point to Arizona at this point.

What do the odds say about where Peyton Manning will play in 2012?

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning calls a play against the New Orleans Saints in the first quarter during the NFL’s Super Bowl XLIV football game in Miami, Florida, February 7, 2010. REUTERS/Hans Deryk (UNITED STATES)

Now that he has officially be released from the Colts, speculation is heating up on where Peyton Manning will sign for the 2012 season.

So what do the odds say about which team will sign Manning when the free agency period kicks off next week?

According to oddsmakers at the online sports book, the Dolphins are the favorites to land Manning at +125. The team with the next best odds is the Cardinals at +350, followed by the Chiefs at +600, the Jets at +700, and the Seahawks and Redskins at +800, respectively.

Some of the long shots include the Broncos (+1000), 49ers (+1000), Texans (+1800) and Titans (+1800). There’s also +600 odds on “The Field,” which constitutes any other team not listed by the website, as well as “No Team,” which has odds of +1200. “No Team” comes with the stipulation that Manning doesn’t throw a pass in the 2012/13 NFL regular season.

As expected, rumors are flying in regards to where Peyton will wind up. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported this morning that the Chiefs and Broncos have spoken to Manning’s reps, although Peyton reportedly has no interest in playing for a cold weather team. If that’s true, that would theoretically take the Broncos, Chiefs, Jets and Seahawks out of the running, while making teams like the Cardinals and Dolphins the frontrunners.

Personally I’m pulling for Manning to wind up in New York, although only because it would make for the best storylines. Manning and Brady could go toe-to-toe twice a year and the Manning brothers would be playing in the same city. Plus, the dynamics between Peyton and Rex Ryan would be fun to watch unfold.

Peyton Manning to sign with the Redskins?

Injured Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning watches from the sidelines before their NFL football game against the New England Patriots in Foxborough, Massachusetts December 4, 2011. REUTERS/Brian Snyder (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)’s Mike Freeman says that “everyone” he’s spoken to in the NFL believes if Peyton Manning becomes a free agent the Redskins will sign him.

Here’s what Freeman wrote:

7. Look for Peyton Manning and Jim Irsay to meet within the next 48 hours — if they already haven’t done so secretly. Manning, I’m told, wanted some time to pass before meeting with Irsay so his brother could celebrate his championship in peace. Manning knows the minute he and Irsay meet, it’ll become public (mainly because Manning or his agent will leak their side of it).

8. Speaking of Peyton, everyone I speak to in the NFL — and I mean just about everyone — believes if Manning becomes a free agent, the Washington Redskins will sign him.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter said on Tuesday that the favorites “in my mind” to land Manning are the Dolphins, while John Clayton noted that Cardinals owner Bill Bidwell will balk on signing Peyton after committing $65 million and $21.5 million guaranteed to Kevin Kolb last offseason.

For what it’s worth, oddsmakers list the Cardinals (+200) as the favorites to have Peyton Manning on their roster in 2013, while the Redskins (+250) have the next best odds (+250) followed by the Dolphins.

I would keep my eye on the Jets as well. Rex Ryan has often been infatuated with beating Manning over the years and it’s not like the Jets have a starting quarterback currently on their roster…


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