We’re still several weeks away from knowing whether Peyton Manning will be available in free agency this year, and it may be longer than that before we know whether he’ll be capable of playing in 2012. But if Manning is available and ready to go, the Miami Dolphins want him.
The Miami Herald, citing two sources with direct knowledge of the Dolphins’ plans, reports that Manning is the quarterback the Dolphins desire most, and Miami will aggressively pursue him if he’s available.
If the Dolphins can’t get Manning, they would turn their attention to options including Packers backup Matt Flynn, who has the advantage of already knowing new coach Joe Philbin’s offense, or trading up in the draft to take one of the top two quarterbacks, Stanford’s Andrew Luck and Baylor’s Robert Griffin III. But Manning is Plan A.
The Colts owe Manning a $28 million roster bonus on March 8 and may release him instead of paying it, which would make him an unrestricted free agent. Given the way Ross has talked about the importance of adding a quarterback, Manning may find that if Jim Irsay isn’t willing to pay him a boatload of money, Ross will be.