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Following today's, and really the last few weeks' events, - from the Cardinals' pursuit of Peyton Manning to today's decision to retain and restructure Kevin Kolb's contract, Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt decided it was wise to issue a public statement on the whole ordeal. Here's what Whiz had to say:
Regarding today's developments and our quarterback position, acquiring Peyton Manning is no longer an option for us.
Since the end of last season we made it very clear that our plan was to head into 2012 with Kevin Kolb and John Skelton, let the process play out and - like at every position - go with the quarterback who gives us the best chance to win.
Obviously something very unique and unexpected presented itself. We've said it many times: if there's an opportunity to make our team better we'll explore it; we view the potential of adding a first-ballot Hall of Fame quarterback as one of those. The organization quickly put together an aggressive plan to go after it. We're proud of that and feel very strongly about what we have to offer as a team and as an organization. In the end it didn't work out but from our perspective it was very positive and we certainly don't have any regrets about it.
We sit here today in the same spot we were heading into the offseason. That's with two experienced quarterbacks who have both demonstrated positive things in the past and who we feel good about. Like we said at the end of the season when we won seven of the last nine games, carrying the momentum of that strong finish into 2012 is important and that remains unchanged.
For more on the Cardinals offseason and how you feel Kolb is progressing, make sure you head over to Revenge of the Birds to get in on the action.
As the Peyton Manning frenzy looking less and less likely in Arizona, ESPN's resident NFL insider Adam Schefter is reporting that the Arizona Cardinals will indeed give quarterback Kevin Kolb his $7 million bonus this afternoon, all but squashing Manning's chances as a Cardinal altogether.
Per Adam Schefter on Twitter: (Suzy Kolber reporting)
ESPN's Suzy Kolber reports Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb will receive his $7 million roster bonus, according to team source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 16, 2012
Not only that, Kolb is getting a new restructured deal from the team as well, according to Chris Mortensen (and Kolber), likely trying to help them get under the cap.
Arizona couldn't take the risk of letting him leave just to watch Peyton land somewhere else. Having a second year under his belt with a full offseason and training camp should help him out immensely for the 2012 season to build more continuity with his offense. Now he'll need to figure out a way to stay on the field.
Kolb finished his 2011-12 season with 1995 passing yards and nine touchdowns in only nine games for Arizona last season due to injury. He also had eight interceptions and seven fumbles.
For more on the Cardinals offseason and how you feel Kolb is progressing, make sure you head over to Revenge of the Birds to get in on the action.
The Arizona Cardinals were seen as an early favorite to land Peyton Manning this offseason, though that not be the case depending on how they want to deal with Kevin Kolb.
Now the Cards have a new set of problems as ESPN's Chris Mortensen is reporting that Manning had a workout for Jim Harbaugh and the San Francisco 49ers this week, effectively joining the race a little late. But late is always better than never, and couldn't come at a worse time for Arizona.
Filed to ESPN: Third team in Manning race that has emerged is 49ers - Manning worked out for Harbaugh & took physical this week #NFL32— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) March 16, 2012
This would clear up some of the confusion of Alex Smith's contract status as well, as the 49ers have seemingly put signing Smith on the shelf while quietly making a play on No. 18. From his other suitors in Tennessee and Denver, the 49ers would be leaps and bounds the most talented team he could join, and with all the cap space they've been opening up, the numbers could line up just right to land him.
As for the Cardinals, they have to figure out what to do with Kevin Kolb by this afternoon at 2 p.m. MT. Either pony up the $7 million bonus he's owed or cut him and try and make a play on Manning. The later is seeming much more unlikely.
For more on the possibility of Manning as a 49er, head over to Niners Nation to get in on the action.
Peyton Manning is a busy guy these days, taking trips to and fro from team to team to figure out his next move. And according to some sources, including the Denver Post, the Arizona Cardinals may be on Peyton's short list but might not have the ability to sign him.
The Cardinals have until 2:00 p.m. MT to decide whether or not they will be ponying up the $7 million roster bonus that is due to Kevin Kolb, who the team would ultimately drop if they went with Peyton. But that means that's $7 million out the door with Kolb, unless they cut him this afternoon before his pay day.
It's not an easy decision, and the Cards are certainly under the gun to figure this out. ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting that the Broncos flew to Durham, NC to see Peyton today and that a workout was held between them. That doesn't necessarily put them in the driver's sear though, according to Schefter.
The Miami Dolphins are said to be out too, leaving only the Tennessee Titans and Denver Broncos as teams that Peyton could be playing for next season. But if Titans owner Bud Adams is going to put up 'lifetime contracts' as his offer, few teams could be trying to speak with Manning, because there likely isn't another owner willing to do such a thing.
For more on the Cardinals head over to Revenge of the Birds.
The Arizona Cardinals have a lot to figure out this offseason, particularly if they want to land Peyton Manning. Probably most importantly, they need to figure out their offensive line issues. Manning is not likely going to want to head to Arizona if the offensive line doesn't improve from where it was last season, when the poor pass protection ended up knocking about Cardinals players.
So Arizona has looked to Adam Snyder is their latest signing. Darren Urban of Cardschatter has this report.
Cards have a free agent: G/T Adam Snyder agrees to a five-year contract. Could plug into RG.— Darren Urban (@Cardschatter) March 14, 2012
Snyder was drafted in 2005 by the San Francisco 49ers, and he signed the contract extension in 2009 to finish things up in 2011. He was the starting right guard for the Niners last season on a solid offensive line unit. Could he help upgrade Arizona along their offensive line and make Manning consider Arizona more strongly?
To discuss Snyder signing up with the Cardinals, head on over to Revenge of the Birds.
Quarterback Peyton Manning continues his journey through free agency. There are plenty of teams interested in grabbing his services, but it appears a pecking order has emerged. Chris Chase of Shutdown Corner has the report.
The Denver Post reports Peyton Manning has narrowed his list of free-agent destinations to four teams and could make a decision as early as Wednesday. The Denver Broncos are reportedly one of Manning's top two choices. The Miami Dolphins and Tennessee Titans are rumored to be next on the list, in varying order. Manning could also pull a last-minute surprise and sign with the Arizona Cardinals.
There's plenty to like about all these teams. Manning would be able to run the Broncos offense on his own. Manning always has liked Miami, although the trade of Brandon Marshall might change things up. Manning on the Titans would also be a solid fit, as they do have the requisite talent to succeed and just need a quarterback to fit in.
And of course, Manning on the Cardinals would be a natural fit with all the strong receiving talent.
To discuss Manning and the Cardinals, head on over to Revenge of the Birds. To think about Manning and the Dolphins, check out Phinsider. To talk about Manning and the Broncos, hit up Mile High Report. To discuss Manning and the Titans, look up Music City Miracles.
The Miami Dolphins were considered one of the frontrunners in the Peyton Manning sweepstakes. They have the ability to be pretty good and have plenty of pieces in place to be very good.
Which makes this new deal more interesting.
The trade isn't that great for the Dolphins on paper, and it certainly didn't land them anything great, but it did free up a good deal of cap space that will allow them to pursue other free agents. That could mean that Manning, Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark could join up with him in the same class, plus it seems Manning would have had issues with Marshall to begin with.
I was told late last night that Peyton did not want to play with Brandon Marshall. Miami is doing what it takes to make Manning happy— Shawn Zobel (@ShawnZobel_DHQ) March 13, 2012
However, with Miami letting go of its number one receiver, it might be more difficult to sell Manning on Miami. That could open things up for the Cardinals, who do have better pieces in place and can also keep the team the way it is and compete better for a title.
To discuss the possibility of Manning and the Cardinals, check out Revenge of the Birds.
The wild ride of the Peyton Manning sweepstakes rolls along. The NFL's hottest free agent visited with Cardinals officials in Arizona on Sunday and the team must have made a good first impression.
Adam Schefter and Chris Mortenson of ESPN report that Manning has narrowed his options and currently favors the Denver Broncos and Arizona Cardinals as potential landing spots. The Miami Dolphins were the early odds-on favorites to land the perennial superstar, but it appears as though that may have changed.
Manning still could wind up meeting with the Dolphins, but indications are that Miami isn't as high on his list as Denver and Arizona.
There always is the possibility another team suddenly jumps into the fray, the sources said, but it is looking increasingly likely there are only a few viable possibilities at this time.
The early indications are that the Cardinals will do everything in their power to land Manning.
Yet the Cardinals will make a hard push and put on what one team source said is a "Louisville-style full-court press." Manning also is close with Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt and has played golf with him.
The free-agent quarterback spent nearly 6½ hours at the Arizona Cardinals' headquarters and training facility on Sunday in meetings designed to lure the superstar to the desert.
The session was even longer than the nearly six hours Manning spent at the Broncos' facility in Denver on Friday night.
Arizona fans are champing at the bit to see where the QB will end up. With any luck, he'll be in red and white in the fall, rather than garish orange and blue.
After several hours of meeting with the Arizona Cardinals front office, coaching staff and even some players, it appears that free agent quarterback Peyton Manning is close to making his choice. According to Arizona Sports 620's John Gambodoro, the Arizona Cardinals are the favorite to land the future Hall of Fame quarterback.
Just got off phone so in nutshell I'm hearing that unless bidwill screws this up peyton should be a card. Nothing done yet!! but promising— John Gambadoro (@Gambo620) March 11, 2012
Arizona has long been considered the best match for Manning. They have Larry Fitzgerald, the best receiver and hardest worker in the game, a dome, great weather and a coaching staff that has had success with a veteran QB that wants to be a part of the offensive game plan. Additionally, they have a good young defense and a division that is still seen as weak.
Manning did not play in 2011 because of procedures to his neck. He was recently released by the Indianapolis Colts, for whom he had played his whole career, as he was due a $28 million bonus. The Colts have the number one pick in the 2012 NFL Draft and are expected to select Andrew Luck and rebuild without Manning.
The big question now is whether or not the Bidwill family messes this up. They have long had the reputation of going on the cheap and spurning players. There is some sentiment that they would not pull the trigger on a deal that Manning desires, due to the fact that the team shelled out a lot of money and made a trade to acquire for Kevin Kolb.
However, the franchise has made gains in showing it does what it can to win. regardless of how they feel about Kolb, acquiring a guy who could arguably be the best quarterback of all time in the NFL, it is something you have to consider.
Will it happen? Manning is expected to make his decision by Tuesday.
According to Pro Football Talk's Evan Silva, future hall of fame quarterback and free agent Peyton Manning, who is reportedly meeting with Arizona Cardinals coach Ken Whizenhunt Saturday night, will be returning to his Miami condo following the meeting with the Cardinals, skipping any other team that has been rumored to have interest in acquiring him.
Manning reportedly has nothing on his schedule after the meeting with Cardinals and is presumed to visit with the Dolphins while in Miami, but that has not been confirmed. Silva writes that the three front runners to land Manning are now considered to be the Denver Broncos, the Arizona Cardinals and the Miami Dolphins, which leaves the Kansas City Chiefs and Seattle Seahawks out of the equation.
For more on the Arizona Cardinals, head to their SB Nation blog, Revenge of the Birds, and for more updates on Peyton Manning, which we should officially refer to as "Manning-fest Destiny" now, keep up with SB Nation Arizona's StoryStream.
What a completely un-shocking headline that is. According to ESPN's John Clayton, the Arizona Cardinals have lost their confidence that Kevin Kolb can lead them to where they want to go and, according to reports, they are "desperate" to land Peyton Manning.
As it turns out, the Cardinals, according to sources, have lost confidence in Kolb and are desperate to get Manning. If they don't get him, they can spend the offseason working with Kolb. If the Cards do get Manning, they would let Kolb go.
The Cardinals payed a lot of money to get Kolb, who came Glendale as a fairly inexperienced quarterback, and hoped that he would be the answer to the "who will replace Kurt Warner" question. However, after Kolb only played in nine games, throwing for 1,955 yards, nine touchdowns and eight interception for a quarterback rating of 81.1.
Manning is reportedly visiting Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt Saturday night where the coach will undoubtedly try to convince the future hall of famer to wear Cardinal Red in 2012. As for the team's lack of confidence in Kolb, nobody should be surprised by that. If the team is going to release him, though, it would need to be before March 17, when they are going to owe him a $7 million roster bonus.
According to Jay Glazer, the Peyton Manning tour is scheduled to make its next stop in Glendale, Arizona where the future hall of fame quarterback will talk with coach Ken Whisenhunt on Saturday night.
Jay GlazerPeyton Manning free agent tour is scheduled for its next stop as Cards sources say he's set to fly to AZ to meet w Coach Wisenhunt 2nite 13 minutes ago via UberSocial for iPhone · Reply · Retweet · Favorite · powered by @socialditto
Manning was already reported to visit the Cardinals after spending a day in Denver where he met with the Broncos so this isn't necessarily breaking news, but it seems that the visit is at least now confirmed and less of a rumor. The Cardinals spent a lot of money on Kevin Kolb in 2011 to bring him to town from Philadelphia, but the team still went 8-8 and Kolb only played in nine games and had an 81.1 passer rating.
Glazer also tweeted a reminder that Cardinals fans shouldn't look too far into the fact that Manning left Denver without a contract because he won't be the kind of quarterback that will visit just one place and sign on the spot. However, Glazer thinks that the process will still go very fast.
New free agent quarterback Peyton Manning, who was released by the Indianapolis Colts earlier this week, is the hottest commodity for quarterback needy teams. He visited with the Denver Broncos on Friday and it was reported by numerous sources that he was going to make the trip south from Denver to Arizona to visit with the Cardinals.
Those reports haven't been confirmed, though, and when Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald was asked for an update on the Manning situation or if he was in town, he was just as clueless as we all are.
"I haven't heard anything about it," Fitzgerald said. "I'll be interested to see (what happens). I'm kind of picking up everything on the ticker on ESPN and the different sports affiliations in the country just like you guys are."
There were rumors that Manning was going to be going to dinner with Cardinals officials, but Fitzgerald had heard nothing about that either. Of course this doesn't mean that Manning isn't in Arizona or that he isn't going to be heading there, so stay tuned.
According to a report from the Denver Post, recently released quarterback Peyton Manning will begin his free agency search with the Denver Broncos, scheduling a meeting with them on Friday, but it also said to be meeting with both the Arizona Cardinals and Miami Dolphins as well, likely feeling out what kind of possibilities await him in this second chapter of his professional career.
Manning, 36, has been cleared to throw by his neck specialist, Dr. Robert Watkins. Another source close to the situation noted that Manning doesn't want to draw this out and would like to have a decision made by Tuesday, the first official day of free agency. I would want to get in with a team and get back to work as soon as possible if I were Peyton, ensuring that you can continue rehab with team doctors and get ready with your new franchise.
The circus seems to be starting, but may only be in town for a short while.
For more on the Cardinals head over to Revenge of the Birds.
With Peyton Manning now a free agent, the Arizona Cardinals are reportedly one of a dozen or so teams that have interest in the free agent quarterback. After the press conference in Indianapolis on Wednesday in which Manning and Colts owner Jim Irsay addressed the press about Manning's release, he immediately flew back to South Florida where he has a home and has been working out with former teammate receiver Reggie Wayne.
Local reporter Jude Lacava reported Thursday evening that Arizona Cardinals president Michael Bidwill had taken his plane to South Florida. That would be to obviously meet with Manning.
There were conflicting reports, though. Darren Urban had heard nothing of the trip and Arizona Republic Cardinals beat writer Kent Somers tweeted that he had heard that Bidwill was in Tempe Tursdya afternoon with a function to attend on Friday, so if he in fact did make the trip, it was a very, very short one.
Did this mysterious trip happen? Surely the truth will come out at some point, but these are the types of reports that will be all over in the meantime.
You can talk more Cardinals over at Revenge of the Birds.
All eyes in the NFL world are on the Peyton Manning sweepstakes with as many as a dozen teams expressing interest in the future hall of fame quarterback. Early rumors have mentioned Miami, Washington, Arizona, New York and Seattle as potential landing spots, but one of those teams appears to believe they are out of the running.
Pro Chris Russell of ESPN 980 in Washington recently reported that Washington doesn't appear to be a likely destination for Manning for a variety of reasons. Most notably seem to be the potential cold weather gameday environment in Washington as well as the proximity to brother Eli Manning in New York.
The weather piece would certainly seem to bode well for the Cardinals but Russell also cited the situation in Miami being ideal and that being a big reason that Washington doesn't appear likely. Manning recently stated his intention to make a decision within a week so it doesn't appear that the process is going to drag out long, but there are certainly going to be more than a few rumors between now and then.
A look at the Cardinals QB situation, specifically about Kevin Kolb, if Peyton Manning were to join the Arizona Cardinals.
Eric Metz, the long-time agent of Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt as well as assistant coach Russ Grimm went on XTRA Sports 910 and spoke a little about Peyton Manning and shared his thoughts on the veteran quarterback and future hall of famer potentially making his way to the Cardinals.
Metz started by saying that he thinks the team has a "tremendous shot" at signing Manning and he'd be "surprised if they didn't pull it off." He went on to say that he believes Manning would have the best chance to succeed immediately in Arizona.
"He is going to win quicker in Arizona and they know how to do it, and that whole staff has been there before, so they know how to get right back there, and so does Peyton," Metz said.
Metz went through all the possibilities and eliminated some teams like the Seahawks (because of where they play) and the Chiefs (because of the fit) and said that the two main teams will be the Dolphins and the Cardinals and that the demand by a few teams for Manning will speed up the process and likely have the veteran signal caller signing with a team within a week.
Of the two front runners, Metz thinks the Cardinals will win out.
"Only he is going to know for sure," Metz said, "but I would think it comes down to Miami and Arizona, and I think Arizona wins out."
When healthy, there is very little doubt that Peyton Manning is still an elite quarterback in the NFL, despite his age and the thousands of passes he has thrown over the years. News is expect on Wednesday that Manning and the Colts will officially split ways at 14 incredible seasons, making the Hall of Famer a free agent to sign with whichever team he chooses.
There are still plenty of concerns surrounding Manning and his surgically repaired neck, but he is reportedly throwing well and appears to be ready for the start of the 2012 regular season. Just how valuable would a healthy Peyton Manning be for a team, such as the Arizona Cardinals?
According to a report from Yahoo! Sports, AccuScore has predicted how many wins Manning would be with the current roster. After a 8-8 season last year, the Cardinals would be projected for 10.7 wins with their current roster. That would give them nearly a 70% chance at making the playoffs, and a 52.5% chance at winning the NFC West.
The next few weeks will undoubtably be nuts with rumors, whispers and reports from the always reliable "sources". Strap in, folks.
For more and to discuss Peyton Manning potentially coming to Arizona, head on over to Revenge Of The Birds.
It has been a long time coming, but it appears that the time is here. After months of speculation, according to a report by ESPN's Chris Mortenson, the Indianapolis Colts are expected to announce at a press conference on Wednesday that the team will release quarterback Peyton Manning.
Manning missed the entire 2011 season because of a neck injury and subsequent surgeries. Previous to that, he had never missed a start in his career, that has been with the Colts since the beginning. He is due a $28 million bonus on March 8, and the Colts are apparently not sure enough of the viability of his future to pay him that bonus and handcuff their financial situation completely for the 2012 season.
Instead, they will likely draft QB Andrew Luck with the first pick in the NFL Draft this April and build again.
There will be a number of teams that will vie for Manning's services for this coming season, including the Arizona Cardinals, but Manning will have to show that he is progressing with his arm strength, such that he can show he will be ready for the season.
The Cardinals will have a small window. QB Kevin Kolb, whom they acquired a year ago, is due a $7 million bonus on March 17.
If this report is true, this will certainly make the offseason much more fun, because Manning will officially become probably the highest profile free agent the league has ever seen.
You can talk more Cardinals over at Revenge of the Birds.
ESPN's Adam Schefter created a video that tries to break down which teams he thinks Peyton Manning could end up with. The Arizona Cardinals are heavily-featured and considered one of the "final four" that will end up with the quarterback if he leaves the Indianapolis Colts, along with the Miami Dolphins, Washington Redskins and New York Jets.
Here's what Schefter had to say about the Cardinals specifically:
Arizona believes Manning can do for the Cardinals what Kurt Warner once did for them, but it lacks the tradition and stability that a football historian like Manning appreciates most.
Schefter thinks it's ultimately a battle between the Redskins and Dolphins with Miami as the favorite. Of course, it's still way too early in the process to know for sure and that's assuming Manning is in fact released by the Colts.
You can talk more Cardinals over at Revenge of the Birds.
Ever since Dan Marino left the Miami Dolphins the fanbase have been wanting that messiah-like golden child of a quarterback to return to their team.
That’s right, manningtomiami.com is up and full functional, waiting for you to join the rally to bring No. 18 to the Dolphins. You can sign up for the newsletter, buy Manning to Miami merchandise, heck, they even have real sponsors and billboards up and everything!
If you ask me how much say this program will have to actually bring Manning to Miami is somewhere in between absolutely none and never in your wildest dreams. But if he ends up playing in South Beach next season, I’ll be willing to give them all the credit.
For more one Manning saga, check out Stampede Blue.
As much talk as there has been about Peyton Manning and the team he could land with, the bigger story that sometimes has been left under the rug is that of his arm strength. Teams like the Arizona Cardinals, Miami Dolphins, Washington Redskins and others are reportedly interested, but it will be risky business if he can't get his arm to where it needs to be.
Albert Breer of NFL Network filed this report on how much Manning needs to be fixed up and the timetable that will get him back on the football field.
What we know about Manning's recovery is that the spinal fusion has taken, and he's been cleared to play. That doesn't mean he can play quarterback. It simply means he can, physically, go out there and take contact. The rest is about being able to throw like an NFL quarterback again. We know Manning's been throwing. The question is whether or not he's improving. Condon did say, "He's had very significant improvement from the time of the operation until now." But the key isn't the improvement from the time of the surgery to now, it's the rate of improvement from the beginning of the nerve regeneration, presuming it's underway, to now. If there has been kind of improvement Condon's talking about, then Manning would be out of what the doctor calls the "dormant period." Which, again, would be great news.
"What that means is there's not permanent blocking of the nerve signal," the surgeon said. "If he's getting better, then the wires are working. Now, it's a matter of gaining strength and fine motor activity to return. The question is the pace of recovery for a 36-year-old guy, he's got a ticking clock. But you can plot the trajectory of his improvement over the last several months, and if you see a significant increase in strength the last few weeks, you can be more optimistic.
"You can plot the level of function and strength compared to the opposite arm, and plot it out to where he would be based on the current level of improvement on March 8. And if that plots out to over 90 percent by September 1, teams would be crazy not to take a shot on him. If it's a slower rate, that's a different story."
We all know that March 8 is a very important day. For the sake of football, we all hope that his arm progresses to where he can play again. For Arizona Cardinals fans, the thought of that happening and having Manning land in Arizona is even better.
You can talk more Cardinals over at Revenge of the Birds.
Peyton Manning’s medical history is definitely something a lot of teams are monitoring before taking a chance on him as their quarterback for next year. Manning’s surgeries are a major concern, and now it seems he may be covering up some of his issues.
Don Banks of Sports Illustrated reports that Manning had one additional surgery, which can never be a good sign, particularly since this is the first any of us have ever heard of it.
The more you hear, the more uncomfortable you have to figure a team would be willing to take a risk on Manning, no matter how tantalizing the prospect might be of having one of the greatest quarterbacks ever on their roster. The Cardinals may have to hope Kevin Kolb and John Skelton are adequate enough.
It has been a little bit, but Peyton Manning has ruled the NFL news this offseason. Speculation continues to swirl about the future of his career in the NFL. Most believe that he will be released by the Indianapolis Colts before March 8, when he is due a $28 million bonus.
Arizona is listed as the number two best fit. Here is why:
Why this fits: Name a quarterback who does not want to play with Larry Fitzgerald. The Cardinals are still searching for Kurt Warner's successor. Kevin Kolb did nothing to prove he is ready to handle being a No. 1 quarterback. John Skelton has talent but is raw. Another season of Kolb-Skelton could mean another season with no playoffs for the Cardinals.
Coach Ken Whisenhunt has worked well with two elite quarterbacks-Warner with the Cardinals and Ben Roethlisberger with the Steelers when Whisenhunt was Pittsburgh's offensive coordinator. The warm weather and climate-controlled stadium in Arizona are appealing. Moving to Arizona late in his career worked out pretty well for Warner. It could work out just as well for Manning.
While the odds for the Cardinals to land Manning have noticeably dropped, they will make a go at it if and when Manning is ever a free agent.
The offseason is only a couple of days old, but the one thing that has dominated the news since the end of teh regular season has been the situation with Peyton Manning. It is particularly pertinent here in Arizona because there is widespread speculation that Manning might end up a member of the Arizona Cardinals if the Indianapolis Colts release him before March 8, when he is due a $28 million bonus.
However, while Arizona is the odd-on favorite in Vegas to land the future Hall of Famer, there is a report that says that the Miami Dolphins are the team to watch.
The Sun-Sentinel reports that NFL sources have revealed that Manning has several reasons to be interested in the Dolphins should he be released. Says the article:
Manning and his wife own a condo on South Beach and a source said they'd love to relocate to South Florida if the fit is right. A second source confirmed Manning's interest in the Dolphins.
Playing for the Dolphins would allow Manning to remain in the AFC, and the Colts are on Miami's schedule next season, which is an added bonus.
Miami does have great weather and it is in the AFC. Other reports state that another factor to remain in the AFC is because of the possibility he could face his brother Eli in the Super Bowl.
The Dolphins have a solid defense and a good offensive line. They also have a very talented receiver in Brandon Marshall. However, they play in the same division as the New England Patriots and would have to travel to New York and Foxborough, which are not know for their great football conditions.
In the meantime, Manning is still under contract with the Colts and would like to remain that way. Until the possible cut, Cardinals fans and fans of any other team with a quarterback issue will be sitting, speculating and waiting.
Even with Peyton Manning being a good sport recently in terms of his comments about his future with the Indianapolis Colts, the majority of people both inside and outside of the game think that he's played his last game as a Colt. This is just too perfect of a situation for the Colts to finally take the last step towards moving on from the Manning era. Stanford's Andrew Luck is there for the taking, new coaching staff in place and an opportunity to start over.
So where does that leave Manning?
Well, according to Bovada.lv.com, it leaves him with the Arizona Cardinals.
When tasked with answering ‘what team will Peyton Manning be a member of for game 1 of the 2013 regular season?', Bovada put the odds at 2/1 for the Cardinals - better than the Washington Redskins, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets and Colts.
Here's what Bovada.lv Sportsbook Manager Kevin Bradley had to say in an email.
"With Peyton Manning's situation it has made setting next year's Super Bowl Odds very difficult and a reason you will see teams like Arizona and Miami at lower odds than what they would be in case Manning signs there. As for the Colts, even though there is a slim chance he stays, they are at 50-1 but if he does leave will shoot up to around 100-1 and if stays would drop down to around 15-1, just goes to show the importance of a guy like Peyton."
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning has been and is likely to be a focal point of Super Bowl week and the upcoming NFL offseason, with questions abounding about what's to happen next. His agent, Tom Condon, spoke with the NFL Network on Friday in Indianapolis to discuss the injured quarterback's current situation and what the next step very well might be.
First, Condon explains where Peyton is in his healing process.
Tom Condon says Manning's fusion healed and he's sound and can take a hit. But he's still rehabbing the nerve— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) February 3, 2012
that's great to hear, but that doesn't necessarily mean he'll be suiting up anytime soon:
Condon says obviously Manning wouldn't be effective if he tried to play now but thinks in a few months he could be effective— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) February 3, 2012
Condon would also note that it could take up to a year for Peyton to be ready to play again, putting him on schedule to miss another full season.
The Colts are also considering pushing back the date of Peyton's big bonus, which Condon says they are fine with. Still, he would admit he doesn't know when a meeting could take place:
Condon says "this is a tough time" for Irsay and Manning. Doesn't know exact timing of meeting but suspects sooner rather than later— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) February 3, 2012
While fans of teams across the nation that have some sort of quarterback issues were all abuzz about the news that Peyton Manning has been medically cleared for football activities, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay is pushing back some more to allow him some wiggle room should he decide to release Manning before his $28 million bonus is due March 8.
In response to the news that Manning could resume football activities without risking further injury to his neck, Irsay tweeted Thursday evening, "Peyton has not passed our physical nor has he been cleared to play for The Indianapolis Colts. Team statement coming on Friday."
Now to be clear about Manning's health, it is his neck that is football safe. What is not known yet is whether or not Manning can throw a football at full strength.
Irsay has a huge decision to make, regardless of the health of Manning. The Colts have the number one pick in the NFL Draft this April and it is well known that Andrew Luck is likely going to be their selection. They could pay Manning the bonus, but that would then handcuff the team financially and they would not be able to put together the necessary talent around Manning to make the team a Super Bowl contender.
However, you don't typically cut a Hall of Fame quarterback when he you don't already have a guy ready to take over.
It seems that both Irsay and Manning are using the media to manipulate the situation and put pressure on the other. Manning definitely is planning on playing, he wants to stay in Indy and he naturally wants the money from his contract.
Irsay wants to win now and in the future and might be concerned about Manning's effectiveness and also how the team will look in two or three years if the cap situation is serious and the Colts cannot sign players or have to cut highly paid ones.
What is certain is that we have not heard the last of this story yet, as it has become the story of this offseason.
Peyton Manning's career has been in jeopardy for the past year, as no one knew whether he'd be able to play ever again. That has to frustrate teams with quarterback issues (like the Arizona Cardinals) who really want to take a chance on the quarterback.
However, there seem to be some positive signs that he might be able to pick up a football and play in the NFL next year. It's nothing concrete, but it does look like a positive step in the right direction.
Peyton Manning has been medically cleared by two doctors, including Dr. Robert Watkins, who performed the most recent surgery on the Indianapolis Colts quarterback's neck, to resume his NFL career, sources told ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen and ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
The sources said Watkins examined Manning recently in Los Angeles and concluded the stability in his neck would have allowed the quarterback to play this Sunday if the nerves in his arm had regenerated to a satisfactory performance level.
Don't believe that Manning is all the way back just yet though.
Mort's report on Manning notes that while he's cleared, nerves in arm haven't necessarily regenerated enough.— gregg rosenthal (@greggrosenthal) February 2, 2012
Essentially: It may be safe for Manning to play, but his arm still isn't right. Yet.— gregg rosenthal (@greggrosenthal) February 2, 2012
Early in the day, Fitz appeared on ESPN radio with "Mike and Mike," and was asked about the speculation of Manning and Arizona. "Everybody, if you play receiver, would love to play with a quarterback like Peyton Manning," Fitz said. "Anyone in your right mind would want to play with him."
There's no doubt the Cardinals would land a huge coup if they got a healthy Manning to throw Fitz. Could you imagine a more dynamic one-two combination? Here's hoping Peyton gets healthy in a hurry.
To discuss the possibility of Manning and the Cardinals, head on over to Revenge of the Birds.
Yes, the headline is as corny as it sounds. And, yes, the fact that this is news is kind of crazy, but if you are interested at all in the Arizona Cardinals or Peyton Manning's future, you want to know this. According to a tweet from Tom James, who writes for the Terre Haute Tribune-Star, Larry Fitzgerald may be trying to woo the future Hall of Fame quarterback to Arizona.
Now, Larry Fitzgerald is friends with nearly the entire league, but the second tweet is the more telling one.
You may recall last offseason Fitzgerald was rumored to have pushed very hard for the Cardinals to acquire Kevin Kolb. Kolb spent half of the season injured and inconsistent the other half.
It just shows that Fitz is loyal to winning. He knows that Peyton Manning gives the team a much better chance at winning than any quarterback on their roster, and based who will actually be available, the best chance than any other possible option (Drew Brees could be argued, but I don't see him ever hitting the market).
Arizona probably is one of the best fits for Manning. The team has a good offensive staff and scheme, the quarterback is heavily relied upon, they play 10 games indoor in 2012, they have the best receiver in the world, they have a better defense than any that the Colts had in Manning's career and they have a talented corp of running backs. They also have uncertainty at quarterback and a way to get out of Kevin Kolb's contract should the team be able to land Manning.
Does this mean that Peyton to Arizona is a sure thing? No.
However, the fact that Fitz is going to discuss the topic with number 18 himself speaks volumes about the interest that the Cardinals have.
And that interest, combined with the likely availability of one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of the NFL is what has Cardinals fans excited about.
You can talk more Peyton to the Cardinals over at Revenge of the Birds.
Everyone has an opinion nowadays when it comes to the future of Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning. With the big day - March 8 - slowly creeping upon us, and Manning due a $28 million bonus if he is still on the Colts at that time, the Colts are in a difficult spot in terms of the face of their franchise. And other franchises, like the Arizona Cardinals, are playing close attention to the situation, just in case one of the best quarterbacks in a generation surprisingly becomes available.
But reporter Peter King had this to say about Manning's future, according to revengeofthebirds.com, and if he's right, the Cardinals dream of bringing in a quarterback the likes of Manning would be dashed.
"I'm told that Manning is having difficulty almost five months after surgery getting back to full arm strength. Family friend Gil Brandt told me last week, ‘My gut feeling is that we've probably seen the last of Peyton in a football uniform.'"
Tony Dungy, who knows Manning better than most after coaching him in Indy, added this in the same story.
"I don't know where he is medically, but I do not think he is going to play for another team. I think if he's healthy enough, he plays for the Colts. If he's not healthy enough, he'll retire."
It all comes down to his health at this point. Throw in the wrinkle that the Colts are in line to draft Stanford's Andrew Luck with the first pick in the NFL Draft and it makes the Colts situation the top story of the NFL offseason.
And a story the Cardinals hope turns in their favor.
ESPN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Michael Kaplan says that there is a 90% chance Peyton Manning will return to the National Football League for the 2012-2013 season.
Manning missed the entire 2011-2012 season with a lingering neck injury but remained on the Indianapolis Colts active roster and was cleared for workouts of greater intensity earlier this month.
Manning has endured three surgeries on his neck, including two in the past five months. He had a single level anterior fusion surgery on September 8 and was cleared to leave the booth and stand on the sidelines in early October.
The Arizona Cardinals have been added to the mix of teams interested in Manning's services if the Colts do decide to trade or release him. If Peyton, 35, is not cut by the Colts by March 8, he is due a $28 million roster bonus from the contract he signed last summer, meaning Indianapolis has about a littler over a month to figure out what to do with their future Hall of Famer.
First it was Charley Casserly, then it was Adam Schefter. With all sorts of uncertainty surrounding the future of quarterback Peyton Manning, the Arizona Cardinals have suddenly become perhaps one of the best fits for the future Hall of Famer to land if he is released by the Indianapolis Colts.
He is due a $28 million bonus in March and there is much speculation that the Colts will cut ties with him because of the financial impact. Additionally, the team has a new GM, will have a new coach and is expected to draft Stanford QB Andrew Luck with the first overall pick in the draft. They could be ready to start anew with a young franchise QB, and considering the fact that no one even knows whether Peyton will ever play again after three neck surgeries, now seems as good a time as ever to move on.
That is where the Cardinals enter. They have uncertainty at QB and Larry Fitzgerald to throw to. That would be a big selling point.
However, Fitzgerald is not jumping on that bandwagon just yet. In an interview Sunday night on FOX10 Sports Night, he strongly downplayed the mere idea of Manning in Cardinal read. He said this:
"I highly doubt Peyton Manning is going to leave Indianapolis. He's, if not the best quarterback to ever play, one of the guys. I just don't think Indianapolis would put him out for everything he's done for that city and organization. He's done a marvelous job to represent the NFL and has grown the league tremendously. I don't think he's going to leave Indy."
Fitzgerald obviously isn't going to come out and say that he wants Manning here. It would be disrespectful to his teammates. However, while he does not think that Indy would do that to him, it would not surprise most. Fitz has been treated very well by the Cardinals organization, but his contract has never put his team in the same financial situation as Manning contract currently does.
With the deadline to make such a cut to avoid the bonus still almost two months away, the speculation will continue.
The Arizona Cardinals are reportedly interested In Peyton Manning. That is of course, if all the pieces fall into place.