And I’ll thank Peyton Manning for not signing within the NFC West.
Let’s face it: the entirety of the NFL lost its collective shit when the Indianapolis Colts waived Peyton Manning. The Washington Redskins probably wanted him the most, but there was no way Manning was going to play for a division rival of his baby brother; ergo, the Washington Redskins gave up the farm to move up to the 2nd pick in the draft. The San Francisco 49ers wanted him bad enough to openly flirt with him while their own free agent
afterthought quarterback sat without a contract. The Tennessee Titans were probably ready to bring Manning dump trucks worth of cash (and throw away Matt Hasselbeck in the process one season into a 3-year contract). The Miami Dolphins were smitten, but maybe a little too comfortable as a potential destination considering that’s where Manning lives now. The Miami Dolphins, however, might be the biggest losers of all these teams, as they put all of their eggs into the Manning basket, letting Matt Flynn go by the wayside.
It’s my contention that if the Miami Dolphins REALLY wanted Matt Flynn, they could’ve done a full-court press and signed the man to a multi-season deal. Now, I’m beginning to wonder if they really did. Obviously, they need someone who’s a little more proven. After all, they gave the keys to any number of starting quarterbacks since Dan Marino retired, none of which were ready to handle the job of Starting Quarterback in the NFL. It’s not only easy to see why they would have such a hard on for Manning, but why they would completely lose said hard on for a guy like Flynn who has only started two games.
In the end, Manning’s protracted flirtation on the open market helped no team more than it helped the Seahawks. Not only did we get our guy, but we got him at a reasonable price, with no guarantee that it’s Flynn Or Bust. We still have room in this upcoming draft to select a rookie QB. We still have plenty of cash to pad the rest of our team with the depth we’re lacking (particularly in Linebacker and Defensive End positions). AND, none of the teams in the NFC West got any better. In fact, in the case of San Francisco, they could’ve gotten much worse (if Alex Smith signs with the Dolphins, or some other team that lost out on the Peyton Manning Sweepstakes).
Had what happened yesterday not happened, I would’ve gotten on here today and made a case for signing Alex Smith to the type of contract that they just signed Matt Flynn to. Granted, I would’ve rather preferred Flynn to Smith, but as a consolation prize, I don’t think Smith is THAT bad. Maybe he wasn’t worthy of the #1 overall draft pick, but he’s also MUCH better than Tarvaris Jackson. Smith has been royally dicked around by having a new offensive coordinator every fucking year. Tarvar, on the other hand, has had the same offensive coordinator since day one and has not gotten any better. Alex Smith showed me something last season. He’s not the utter shitpile he looked like in his first few seasons. In fact, that game in the playoffs against the Saints might have been Alex Smith turning the corner and salvaging his career in this league. Give him some weapons, a little stability, and I think Alex Smith can do some real damage.
So, where are we at now?
Manning is in Denver. Alex Smith will likely be re-signed by the 49ers (because why would you just let the guy go after he took you to the NFC Championship game and within a couple plays of the Super Bowl?). Tennessee will go back to the drawing board with Hasselbeck & Locker. Washington obviously has RGIII in its back pocket. That just leaves Miami. Don’t they HAVE to trade for Tebow? I mean: they HAVE to trade for Tebow! He played his college ball there. Miami’s fanbase is super-disgruntled because they will have lost out on the top three free agents (Manning, Smith, & Flynn) at a position that has been a black hole for them over the past decade. Tebow would INSTANTLY rejuvinate their fanbase.
And if you’re Denver, this is your opportunity to get out from under this Tebow thing before it’s too late. I’m not even a Tebow Hater, per se, but I can’t say as I’m exactly a Tebow Believer, either. I think he has a definitive ceiling and I think that ceiling is well below the caliber of a Championship-level quarterback. And if Denver doesn’t give him away now to the highest bidder, they’re going to be royally fucked.
Because if you keep him, and if Manning struggles out of the gate, you are NEVER going to hear the end of it! Best to rid yourselves of Tebow now and if Manning doesn’t pan out, you can still start over through the draft.
And as for these people who said Manning should’ve picked San Fran over Denver, let’s all calm the fuck down. First of all, San Fran’s defense isn’t all THAT much better than Denver’s; how do you think Denver did as well as it did last season? That would be the DEFENSE. Secondly, who’s to say Denver is finished adding. What receiver still on the open market WOULDN’T want to play for Peyton Manning? I’ll take any of the top free agent receivers right now over an 80 year old Randy Moss. And finally, really, we’re going to bring up the weather as a reason to not sign with a team? Do you think Manning is going to let something like a cold December climate prevent him from playing for a team he believes in? Do you think a guy who has had multiple neck surgeries, because he’s so much of a competitor that he REFUSES TO DIE, is going to let a little frosty temperature be a deciding factor?
Denver is very attractive for a guy like Manning. Primarily, he’s in the opposite conference than his brother, so they could theoretically play one another in the Super Bowl. But also, he’s in a division that isn’t really all that fierce. Kansas City is kind of a joke, the Raiders are TOTALLY a joke, and the Chargers will never do anything as long as Norv Turner is their head coach.
I’m just glad he’s not in my division. I have my doubts about how effective he’ll be next season, but I can’t say the promise of playing him twice a year really excited me to death.