I’m probably not the first to write about this, nor will I be the last, because to put it plainly, Peyton Manning is a free agent. PEYTON FREAKING MANNING IS A FREE AGENT.
As noted, everyone is writing about this. From teams who need a quarterback like the New York Jets or Arizona Cardinals, or teams who don’t and would like to see him as a backup so their team doesn’t have to play against him (cough New England cough).
Maybe this is a pipe dream at best, and Peyton Manning might be considering only AFC teams or whatever the case may be. But the underlying theme here is that he would be a good fit in Seattle.
For that matter any of the NFC West teams with Manning probably jump to division favorites. (With the exception of maybe St. Louis, sorry Rams fans.) That being said, it would seem like the NFC West would make sense in the fact that Peyton could probably win right away, where as in a place like Miami, there could be issues with facing Tom Brady as well as the Jets defense a combined four times a year.
But Seattle looks like the best fit, at least from my position. The Seahawks have some promising bullet points for Manning to consider:
- One, the Seahawks have a running game that Peyton didn’t have recently in Indianapolis. (Not that Peyton Manning needs a running game to lean on. He’s Peyton FREAKING Manning.)
- Two, the Seahawks defense is a piece (read pass rusher) away from being a top-10 and/or elite defense.
- Three, and this may surprise people, but the weapons are there in Seattle. The receiving core is an underrated one. Sydney Rice thrived with Brett Favre and even Tavaris Jackson before he was hit with injuries. Think of the potential with Peyton throwing to him. Doug Baldwin was quietly one of the better rookie receivers in the league last season. Zach Miller will look to be more of a pass catching threat after spending bulks of playing time helping the pass protection area. Mike Williams also thrived with a good QB (read Matt Hasselbeck) and could regain that form if Peyton comes to Seattle. John Carlson will be back from injury if the team chooses to re-sign him (they should look into it.) Leon Washington is a game changer, plain and simple.
- Four, the offensive line. The Seahawks have a really good young offensive line. The whole line, with the exception of Robert Gallery, has less than four years of experience in the league. While that may be a downside to some, it’s a plus here. The Hawks line is going to be good for a long time. The other key to the QB’s protection here is that the O-Line is surprisingly deep. Breno Giocamini, Paul McQuistain and Lemuel Jeanpierre provided and still provide Pete Carroll with invaluable depth up front.
- Lastly, win now. The Seahawks, despite the 7-9 mark, are going to compete. The aforementioned defense is there. So is the running game. So are the receivers. Look, San Francisco isn’t going to go 13-3 again. (If they do, jokes on me.) Things are going to be more level this year. Even more so than last year. Now obviously Peyton Manning makes just about every team a winner, but to have a team that’s on the cusp of being a very good team, and add one of the best QBs ever. It makes for a very nice dilemma to have.
By process of elimination to get to Seattle, here are places where Peyton isn’t a good fit:
- Miami- Lack of established running game could make for iffy situation. Then again he succeeded in Indy.
- New York Jets- Media circus and uncertainty with team might be disastrous. Also lack of weapons and locker room questions.
- Washington- Redskins don’t have much in the offensive weapons department outside of Santana Moss, Jabar Gaffney and Chris Cooley. Also an equally tough division to play in.
- Arizona- Larry Fitzgerald and a closed arena. There are the only draws in Zona. Good luck selling it outside of that.
So there you have it, Seattle and Peyton Manning, makes a lot of sense.