No doubt the hottest topic this week (outside the super bowl) has been the future of Peyton Manning. In a "what have you done for me lately" league, it is easy to forget what a super star this guy has been to the NFL and fantasy world. Fact is there are only three true possible outcomes. The first being Peyton is physically unable to return to this sport and finish his hall of fame legacy. The next would be his desire and ability to return to the gridiron, just not with the Indianapolis Colts. Lastly, the Colts open their arms and welcome the 4 time MVP back to attempt a final run at football immortality in what could be one of the greatest comeback stories of all time. Let's review our options:
1. Indianapolis - Who would have thought the Colts could be THAT bad without one player? They still have talent and one would have thought veteran leadership. The bigger dilemma has to do with whether or not this was purely a Peyton Manning issue (and how the team was built around him) or if they would have unraveled regardless. Now there will be a new coach and front office staff surrounding the signal caller and possibly the most sought after rookie (Andrew Luck) standing in his shadow. Don't forget a little something we call $28 million reasons to look for the next, dare we say it, Peyton Manning.
2. Miami - Just for fun let's start with the club that allegedly said Manning is the "number one priority if available". Brandon Marshall is campaigning for a stronger quarterback throwing him the ball. Not to mention Miami did pull out of a dismal tail spin to look decently respectable near the end. Our most exciting perspective as fans is we would get to see the Manning vs. Brady match-up twice a year guaranteed. As of now, Miami appears to be the front runner in this potential contest and replacing Wayne and Clark with Marshal and Fasano is not a horrible trade.
3. Arizona - Pretty tough to believe that the birds of the desert would pull the plug on Kolb only a year after making one of 2011's blockbuster trades. However, you need to consider the bigger picture. I'm not talking about what could be a ridicules combination in Manning and Fitz, but (more importantly) the division they compete in. The NFC West is one of the laughing stocks of the NFL. Although San Fran showed up last year as a contender, most felt they overachieved and had no real team threatening their path to succeed. Find a few solid draft picks and grab some free agents like Manning and suddenly you have a team right back in contention like they did with veteran Kurt Warner.
4. J-E-T-S- Jets Jets Jets - First, they would have to have the guts to get rid of "Sanchize", but I think Manning would be a good fit. Put one of the biggest names in the game in the biggest market in the league and you have ratings and concessions gold. The Jets would be an intriguing situation because they have a very strong defense to pair with weapons on offense for Manning. The defensive unit finished 5th in the league in 2011 and would give Manning the opportunity to compete every game. If there was one thing missing in the huddle and locker room last year, it was true leadership. Insert the ultimate field general and let those lips flap Rex. You have the firepower to back it up. Plus, the Mannings would love to share a locker room.
5. Washington - This would be our wild card. Although talks have not surfaced, you have to feel like there is someone coiled up in the weeds waiting to strike. Dan the Man (Schneider) has proven he is not afraid to spend money and loves to go after big time free agents. Santana Moss is still a threat and Fred Davis came on strong last year as a rising star among tight ends. The defense is solid, but they are the bottom of the barrel in their division and need a quarterback to compete among three of the best in the league. If it happens, I would be glad to say I told you so.