I know its March and I should be focusing on the NBA and NCAA March Madness since we won’t be seeing any important football for almost 6 months, but the fact that one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history will be officially released from his team tomorrow, does warrant a special post. I didn’t have a blog [or hell even the internet or a computer] when Joe Montana left the 49ers and joined the Chiefs, so I’m making a concerted point to make sure I cover Peyton Manning officially leaving the Indianapolis Colts.
Now I’m NOT gonna fill this blog with niceties and insightful platitudes about Peyton’s legacy because we all know how great he was and hopefully still is. What I AM gonna do is cut to the chase that we are all wondering – what team should Peyton Manning sign to? Now the general consensus amongst the “experts” is that his best choices are essentially Miami, Washington, Arizona and MAYBE the New York Jets - but I think there are 3 teams NO ONE is discussing that would make FAR better landing spots for number 18.
These choices will seem slightly crazy to most of y’all, but REALLY take a second to think about it:
Team #3 – The Atlanta Falcons
Now I already hear you saying “What about Matty Ice?!” and the truth is, Matt Ryan MAY become a really excellent quarterback somewhere down the line, but the time for Atlanta to take advantage of their unique talent is RIGHT NOW and Peyton would help in ways Ryan simply can’t. Tony Gonzalez and Michael Turner do NOT have many more years in the league and once Atlanta loses them, they are back to being a regular run of the mill team. If Peyton joins that team they will probably have the most explosive offence in the entire NFL. They can then use the draft to secure some defensive linemen and create the 2012 “Dream Team.”
Yes it would suck to lose Matt Ryan, but let’s be honest: His playoff struggles HAVE to make you wonder if he really has what it takes to win big games NOW.
Team #2 – The Houston Texans
Now there’s the obvious revenge factor Peyton would get by playing on the Texans and beating up on the rebuilding Colts twice a year, but the bigger point here is that Houston is a team on the verge of Super Bowl contention. Even without Peyton they are unquestionably the best team in the AFC South right now and with him they would become the most complete and talented team in the league. Wade Phillips has coached up the D to number 1 in the NFL, they just signed star RB Arian Foster to a long term deal and Andre Johnson is still one of the top 3 WR’s in pro football. Add to that a great O-line and you have a team already willing to win a Super Bowl.
What about Matt Schaub you say? My response is simply this – what about him?! The oft-injured QB is no where NEAR an elite quarterback so his role is easily questionable. Where Schaub makes the Texans a playoff team, Manning would all but guarantee a trip deep into the playoffs [assuming he's 100% healthy].
Team #1 – The Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens 10+ years of defensive dominance will soon be coming to an end. Ed Reed and Ray Lewis have 3 years left each AT MOST and then they will be sauntering off to the Hall of Fame. This team is ready to win NOW, but more importantly they HAVE to win now. But here’s where Manning comes in – their current QB Joe Flacco has wildly overpriced himself to the Ravens front-office staff by asking for, well, Peyton Manning money and they simply are not eye-to-eye on what is proper compensation for him. Signing Manning would kill two birds with one pay check – they upgrade their QB [which has been their biggest position of need] and they avoid having to pay loads of guaranteed money to the QB they are unsure of, but paying loads of money to a QB that will earn every cent back to them on the field and through ticket sales.
Picture the Baltimore Ravens, a team that only needs 14-17 points from their offence to win games, having Peyton Manning, Ray Rice, Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith. Then Picture Peyton pulling Reggie Wayne and Jeff Saturday there to join them.
In one word: Unstoppable.
This Is Your Conscience