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The Peyton sweepstakes power rankings

Peyton Manning AP

It seems like everyone is playing “pin the team on the Peyton” in the wake of his release by the Colts.  So I’ve applied my blindfold.  (Pardon me if the typing reads like a string of Jim Irsay tweets.)  And I’m ready to discuss Peyton’s next possible destination, in slightly more detail that I did on Wednesday’s edition of NBC SportsTalk.

Supposedly, a dozen teams have expressed interest in Peyton Manning.  Frankly, a lot more should.

So here’s a team-by-team ranking, from those that should be most interested to those that should be least interested in putting Peyton on the roster, if the mutual goal for team and Manning is to win a Super Bowl.

This is simply our (my) opinion, not an attempt to gauge actual level of interest or to predict Peyton’s destination.  In the end, that will depend on a variety of factors.

1.  Texans:  Instantly, the Texans would become the pick to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl, which will be played in Peyton’s hometown of New Orleans.  The offense would require some tweaking and there could be danger of a Favre-style “schism” via the handling of Matt Schaub, but a mostly healthy Peyton would make the Texans a legitimate championship contender.

2.  Chiefs:  Last year, despite the torn ACLs and fractured relationship between coach and G.M., the Chiefs nearly won the AFC West.  With Peyton, they’d win it going away.  And they possibly would pump up their record to the point where the road to New Orleans would wind through Kansas City.

3.  49ers:  The NFC equivalent of the Texans, the Niners nearly made it to the Super Bowl with Alex Smith.  Add Peyton Manning, and they could win the next two or three.  Unfortunately, coach Jim Harbaugh already has declared his commitment to Smith.  Though plenty of coaches have said one thing and done another, Harbaugh has created the impression that he’s not like the rest of them.  If he wants to win some Super Bowls, maybe he needs to be.

4.  Seahawks:  They’re closer than anyone realizes to becoming a great team, and Peyton would get them to that level.  The biggest concern is the quality of the offensive line.  And the goal of keeping Peyton from taking a lot of hits will now take on a greater level of importance, given the four neck procedures.

5.  Cardinals:  With Larry Fitzgerald, a better-than-advertised defense, and one of the best return men in the game in Patrick Peterson, the Cardinals would get a major boost toward the top of the mountain from Manning.  But will ownership spend enough to put the pieces in place around him?  More importantly, will ownership spend enough to even get him?

6.  Cowboys:  They need a vocal leader, and Peyton would give them just that.  More importantly, Peyton could provide someone who likely won’t make a big mistake in a clutch moment of a key game.

7.  Ravens:  The ultimate revenge on Indianapolis would come from picking up Peyton in a Mayflower van and then winning a Super Bowl with him.  The only problem is that, to pull it off, the Ravens would have to be prepared to forever lose Joe Flacco, who is in the last year of his rookie deal.

8.  Broncos:  They’ll make a run at Peyton, and for good reason.  First, they have the defense and running game to contend; throw in a high-level passing game and they become very dangerous.  But the Tebow factor will make this one awkward, to say the least.  If Manning struggles at all, the Tebowmaniacs will revolt.

9.  Jets:  Four years after the failed Brett Favre experiment, the Jets have rebuilt the lab — and they’re apparently ready to test out the exact same formula.  Though it makes sense for the Jets to upgrade over Mark Sanchez, Peyton Manning and Rex Ryan appear at first blush to be the ultimate oil-water combination.  On a regular basis, Rex would say or do something that would prompt Peyton to break out the ol’ “bitter beer face.”

10.  Titans:  Yeah, the Titans have Matthew Hasselbeck and Jake Locker.  But they could swap out Manning for Hasselbeck, park Locker on the bench for another two years, and swing for the fences with Manning, who played college football in Tennessee.

11.  Dolphins:  They have the pieces to compete.  But the rest of the roster — and the rest of the organization — doesn’t seem to be at the level necessary for Peyton to push them over the top.

12.  Redskins:  See Dolphins.

13.  Jaguars:  If new owner Shad Khan wants to shake things up in the AFC South, it would make more sense to trade up to No. 2 in the draft and take RGIII.  But the Jaguars have enough pieces to make things interesting if they had Manning.

14.  Raiders:  Though on the surface it doesn’t make a lot of sense, the fact that the Raiders are in a weak division puts them in the discussion.  Carson Palmer has a large salary that could be swapped out for Manning’s, and it wouldn’t cost a first-round and second-round pick to get him.

15.  Bears:  The new G.M. possibly doesn’t think much of Jay Cutler, and with the defense still having enough in the tank, Manning could have a similar impact on the Bears as Brett Favre did in Minnesota three years ago.

16.  Vikings:  Speaking of Favre and Minnesota, coach Leslie Frazier worked in Indy with Peyton.  To the extent Peyton craves familiarity, this is one of his few options.  The only problem is that Frazier played his “bring in a veteran quarterback” card last year with Donovan McNabb.  New G.M. Rick Spielman is a Christian Ponder guy.

17.  Falcons:  Peyton could take this team farther than Matt Ryan, but the Falcons would be even less likely to pull the plug on Ryan than the Ravens would be to throw in the towel on Flacco.

18.  Browns:  They could use Manning, but he wouldn’t make enough of a difference to overcome the likes of the Steelers, Ravens, and Bengals.  Besides, Brett Favre could surely share a few “Chilly” stories that would send Peyton’s interest level to absolute zero.

19.  Bills:  Chan Gailey seems to be tying his fate to Ryan Fitzpatrick, and if Peyton is going to go to the AFC East, he’ll have a better shot at winning the division with the Jets or the Dolphins.

20.  Buccaneers:  In a tough NFC South, the Bucs have a long way to go to get back into contention.  Josh Freeman is one of the rare bright spots on the roster, and the young talent on the team would revolt if he’s benched or dumped for Manning.

21.  Chargers:  Between the presence of Philip Rivers and, for now, not a lot else, swapping out Rivers for Manning would make little sense.

22.  Rams:  If they wanted a new quarterback, they’d sit tight at No. 2 and draft Robert Griffin III.

23.  Bengals:  “Old and expensive” doesn’t fit with Mike Browns “young and/or cheap” strategy for building a roster.

24.  Saints:  If Drew Brees has a bug up his butt about the exclusive franchise tag, one way to solve the problem would be to trade him and bring Peyton home to Louisiana.  To make that happen, Brees would first have to start saying things that turn off the locals, something that’s highly unlikely to happen.

25.  Eagles:  Coach Andy Reid knows it’s win-big-or-bust in 2012.  Too much money and cap space is tied up in Mike Vick.  Acquiring Peyton would make it too hard to put a competitive team in place around him.

26.  Panthers:  Cam Newton had the best rookie season of any quarterback in NFL history.  Including Peyton.

27.  Steelers:  The organization seems to be souring a little on Ben Roethlisberger, in part because he has grown too accustomed to running the show.  The answer definitely isn’t a guy who would expect to run the show.

28.  Patriots:  Yes, this one should maybe be lower.  But Bill Belichick has done some outside-the-box things.  Of all the teams that clearly don’t need Manning, the Pats would be the one most likely to at least pause for a half-second and ponder the possibilities.

29.  Lions:  With Matthew Stafford throwing for 5,000-plus yards last season, the sky is the limit for the guy who may do for Detroit what Peyton did for Indy.

30. Packers:  Super Bowl XLV MVP Aaron Rodgers.

31.  Giants:  Super Bowl XLVI MVP Eli Manning.

32.  Colts:  Duh.  With or without Peyton, this team is several years away from competing for a Super Bowl berth.  Besides, if the Colts wanted him and he wanted the Colts, he’d still be there.

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93 Responses to “The Peyton sweepstakes power rankings”
  1. stonewallhank says: Mar 8, 2012 10:12 AM

    he is going to Miami lock it up

  2. sterilizecromartie says: Mar 8, 2012 10:14 AM

    Eagles should be higher (or is it lower?) on the list. I would put them at least in the top 15. Reid is in a do-or-die year. Do you think he would rather go all-in with Vick and Kafka (assuming Vick goes down for 3-4 games again like he always has) or tie his ship to Peyton Manning? They spoke to RGIII at the combine so they have to be at least thinking about additional QB options.

  3. cardsfann1 says: Mar 8, 2012 10:14 AM

    Cards make sense to me…

  4. ike1973 says: Mar 8, 2012 10:14 AM

    I love that the Lions are 29th and the pats 28th. The sky truly is the limit for Matthew.

  5. forevercorr says: Mar 8, 2012 10:16 AM

    Were team finances taken into consideration here? I’m not sure many of your top teams can afford Manning…

  6. tenotnamedmiller says: Mar 8, 2012 10:16 AM

    So Texans, Ravens, Bears with clearly established QBs should be more interested in Manning than Vikings with overdrafted 3rd round QB?

  7. rculross7 says: Mar 8, 2012 10:17 AM

    I saw the Colts listed at 32 and thought this was the 2012 PowerRankings for a moment…

  8. txnsvols0489 says: Mar 8, 2012 10:18 AM

    “stonewallhank says:
    Mar 8, 2012 10:12 AM

    he is going to Miami lock it up”

    Wow! You are so insightful and that is such a big limb you are stepping on to say this!

  9. rc33 says: Mar 8, 2012 10:18 AM

    Seems everyone is just expecting the Peyton of old the moment he returns to action.
    And that may happen.
    It also may take time, maybe half a season, maybe a full season, for him to hit his stride.
    And this is only IF he holds up physically next season, his arm strength returns and he adjusts well (and quickly) to his new environment.
    Likely his second season with his new team will be better.
    Problem is then he’ll be 37.

    Proceed at your own risk.

  10. blitz87 says: Mar 8, 2012 10:20 AM

    Miami is ranked way too low. Have to figure they and Arizona are in the top three.

  11. skeebo80 says: Mar 8, 2012 10:20 AM

    What the hell are the 49ers thinking. CALL PEYTON NOW

  12. jbaxt says: Mar 8, 2012 10:22 AM

    Wow, my Chiefs haven’t been that high on any power poll since Peyton came to KC 8 years ago in the no punting playoff round to beat KC.

  13. tjacks7 says: Mar 8, 2012 10:23 AM

    Bucs – yea the young players would revolt, until they’re 10-2 in week 13 heading to the playoffs.

    Lions – Matthew Stafford doing the same thing for Detroit as Peyton did for Indy… Really?

    Colts – Sadly, if Peyton returned healthy theyd most likely be right back in the playoffs. The Colts did the bare minimum to help Manning out, and he carries them into the playoffs year after year.

    Seahawks/49ers/cardinals – so.. Basically, whoever gets manning is the division winner and a superbowl contender?

  14. psuravens19 says: Mar 8, 2012 10:24 AM

    K.C. seems to be the most logical place to me.

  15. charmcityalum says: Mar 8, 2012 10:24 AM

    No wonder Flacco is always at odds with the media. He is in no way, shape, or form the reason why the Ravens weren’t in the Superbowl last year and yet you have the Ravens near the top of the list of teams that should be making a play for Manning.

    In my opinion letting your QB who’s has made the playoffs and won at least one game every year of his career go to bring in Manning with some serious health concerns and even if he is healthy is only gonna play for two maybe three seasons tops would be foolish.

  16. ipeefreelyagain says: Mar 8, 2012 10:26 AM

    Cowboys at #6? What a Joke.

    At least Romo elusive enough to avoid the pass rush that blows through the inept offensive line. Peyton wouldn’t stand a chance.

    The top needs for Cowboys are:
    1. Guard
    2. Safety
    3. Corner

    The only QB the Cowboys need is a backup, period.

  17. niners52 says: Mar 8, 2012 10:30 AM

    Your crazy to have the 49ers that high,, Um the coach says “Alex is our man”,, signing “Alex is a top priority” They wont touch Peyton, the Niners need some WR’s weapons for Alex.

  18. jsratx says: Mar 8, 2012 10:30 AM

    Attn: Gary Kubiak, Rick Smith and Bob McNair,

    WAKE UP!

  19. metalhead65 says: Mar 8, 2012 10:37 AM

    I can see how the bears new gm doesn’t think much of Jay Cutler. let’s see with him they go to the nfc championship game and last year they are rolling and on the way to the playoffs untill he brearks his thumb and the team collapses. so yea much better to get rid of him and sign a 36 year old coming off major neck surgery with a horrible offensive line to protect him. with every suggestion like this you remind everyone why you are a internet hack instead having a job with a nfl team.

  20. anthonioustheprettygood says: Mar 8, 2012 10:38 AM

    The Broncos makes a ton of sense. Tebow could get an education from watching and learning from one of the game’s best QBs of all time. Peyton could play for maybe 2 yrs while Tebow absorbs it all in and who knows what he could become

  21. steelerdynasty2010 says: Mar 8, 2012 10:40 AM

    the steelers are souring on Roethlisberger? really?

  22. lombardihero says: Mar 8, 2012 10:42 AM

    Who ever made this list they should have at least waited until a few other stories came out.

    He wants to remain in the AFC…

    Miami at 11 is a joke and now Miami is reporting they are no longer looking at Flynn:)

    They put San Fran at 3 lol:) at least put Miami 3 and San Fran 11:)

    Bad Bad List………………………

  23. purplecrowe says: Mar 8, 2012 10:42 AM

    So, you’re sayin’ there’s a chance…

  24. burm61 says: Mar 8, 2012 10:42 AM

    Anybody else look at Chicago and go that makes more sense than I thought?

  25. touchdownroddywhite says: Mar 8, 2012 10:43 AM

    I hate Peyton Manning.

    That said, I’d give a limb to see the Falcons pick him up. Sadly I’m pretty sure they can’t afford him unless he takes the veteran minimum.

  26. riles1008 says: Mar 8, 2012 10:53 AM

    Terrible list. Texans #1. Your excuse of the 9ers was Jim harbaugh was set in alex smith but you said the list had nothing to do with actual interest? The 9ers should be #1. Put Peyton in there that team is unstoppable. How is Miami that low. Pretty good defense, good line, Brandon Marshall, Reggie bush, fasano and davone bess the underneath reciever in a Peyton mannin offense. Texans is a joke at #1. Matt schaub has been great there and with him this year one could argue they’d be in the Super Bowl this year. Not to mention the texans can’t even afford manning anyway

  27. thankheavenfornumberseven says: Mar 8, 2012 10:55 AM

    You could have stopped at 15. Every team below the Bears would never even consider bringing Manning in.

  28. barbeaux says: Mar 8, 2012 10:58 AM

    Texans at #1? That’s crazy. They have a really good QB.

  29. colt2011 says: Mar 8, 2012 10:58 AM

    NFC teams won’t be in the race. No competing against brother Eli unless it’s in a Super Bowl. With Marino recruiting and a possible reunion with Reggie Wayne, Miami should be on top of list. Doesn’t hurt that Peyton already has a home there and climate for 8 games is suitable. It has been reported that sweepstakes for Manning went from 6 to 12 teams immediately and several don’ t want to reveal themselves-will upset their current QB’s. Peyton’s only priority now is to keep rehabbing. He’s close. I believe what HE says and the players who have been working with him. He’s on a mission and will be a great advantage for the team that secures his services.

  30. rhinosinsider says: Mar 8, 2012 10:58 AM

    The Chiefs appear to be overrated to me.

    While they “almost” won the AFC West last year, they also finished last in the division at 7-9 with the other three teams going 8-8.

    They also had the 4th worst net pts in the entire NFL this past season at -126. Only the Colts, Bucs, and Rams were worse. Although, that was largely due to the Chiefs having the 2nd worst scoring offense in the NFL.

    Still, I don’t see the Chiefs having the pieces in place to be legit Super Bowl contenders if they add Manning.

  31. enviroman08 says: Mar 8, 2012 10:59 AM

    Sorry your report is somewhat wrong…Dolphins are Contenders with Manning…we almost beat the Giants & Patriots with Matt Moore at the helm last season…hello the two teams in the most recent Superbowl …. CHECK!!

  32. switch123 says: Mar 8, 2012 11:02 AM

    Dolphins, Dolphins, all the talk I GOT NEWS FOR YA. They have NO Cap Room, NO cap room, Its not going to happen. Your talking Millions to Peyton “guaranteed money” I cant believe the majority of the media is ignoring this, Roughly 12 million to spend on Manning, Not even close to signing him. Drew Brees wanted, “what” 20 mil + a season?

  33. texansdude says: Mar 8, 2012 11:02 AM

    I know you guys keep pushing this, but I am happy to say the Texans do not need Peyton Manning. By Thanksgiving, Houston will already be one of the Super Bowl favorites. Frankly, he needs Houston more than Houston needs him. End of story.

  34. armchairqb says: Mar 8, 2012 11:03 AM

    Texans will never happen, but you’re right: it’s the best possible situation. Great RB, great WR, good defense, dome stadium, same divison so Peyton knows his opponents.

    Texans are foolish not to pursue this.

  35. josephtbuell says: Mar 8, 2012 11:03 AM

    To even have the Cowboys in the top 10 shows me Mike how your obviously an unbiased reporter….not! They could easily drop 14 spots back and that would be more realistic Get it together Mike and think realistic!

  36. hendawg21 says: Mar 8, 2012 11:04 AM

    Excuse me but even when Indy had a 100% Peyton they only managed one Super Bowl, so how does this thinking if he lands with such and such a team they automatically become a Super Bowl Contender? Haven’t we been down this road before? He’ll fill seats and sell jersey’s wherever he lands but don’t expect an automic trip to the big dance…

  37. tformation says: Mar 8, 2012 11:04 AM

    KC is my bet for Peyton. If you believe the story about Peyton preferring the AFC, he’s got to be looking at the AFC West division. The division competition would be a waning Chargers team, a schizo Raiders team and a somewhat ascending Broncos team. Compare that to facing the Ravens/Steelers defences or Tom Brady/Bellicheck twice a year, and the choice becomes clearer.

    Plus, Peyton is a student of NFL history. He’d love the echoes of Joe Montana.

    Speaking of Joe Montana, Peyton in a 49er uniform would DESTROY the NFC West. The road to the super bowl would go through SF for the next 2-4 years.

  38. kevincowboy says: Mar 8, 2012 11:05 AM

    “6. Cowboys: They need a vocal leader, and Peyton would give them just that. More importantly, Peyton could provide someone who likely won’t make a big mistake in a clutch moment of a key game.”

    So that wasn’t Peyton Manning who threw a bad interception late in his last Super Bowl against New Orleans to basically end the game for Indy, or was that not “a clutch moment of a key game”?

    Beyond that, the list is mostly sound and makes sense. I just wish everyone would lay off Romo and let him finish his career before passing judgment. Everyone thought Favre was too reckless to win a Super Bowl until he went out and did it. The problem in Dallas last year was the offensive line and the defense.

  39. raiderlyfe510 says: Mar 8, 2012 11:05 AM

    I don’t know why neither of the Harbaugh brothers don’t want Manning. If either one of them sign him it would be game over.

  40. jbcommonsense says: Mar 8, 2012 11:05 AM

    Most of the list seems highly speculative. Of the 12 teams that are said to be interested, my guess is that few are current playoff teams with established QBs. Given the stated AFC preference I’d guess Miami, KC and the Jets are Peyton’s most likely destinations.

  41. frankvzappa says: Mar 8, 2012 11:11 AM

    Thanks for putting the Texans first, so I could immediately realize how stupid and out of touch with reality these rankings would be and thus save myself the time of reading them.

  42. jeffchadwick says: Mar 8, 2012 11:12 AM

    Folks who are down on the 2011 Chiefs offense – did you take a look to see what happened to those guys last year? Jamaal Charles lasted like five quarters. Tyler Palko started four games. Jackie Battle was the starting RB the last part of the season. Meanwhile, they have a gang of good receivers. Why wouldn’t Peyton want to go there?

  43. cuda1234 says: Mar 8, 2012 11:13 AM

    Houston and New Orleans are really interesting and I bet the Shanahans would be happy to get stuck with Schaub or Brees.

  44. jhastrello says: Mar 8, 2012 11:14 AM

    If you are the Texans, I don’t think that you mess with something that they have been building – for the past 4 years. Don’t screw it up now.

    Manning is now ‘out of your division’ so quit worrying about it. That, and you now know who your backup is.

    Your analysis on the Cowboy’s is off track. What would the Cowboy’s do with Romo and his contract? There is simply not enough cap room to even entertain the notion – and I’m not sure that it’s a good move at all.

  45. whatnojets says: Mar 8, 2012 11:14 AM

    Payton to The New York Jets makes sense to me!
    Hell, anyone that wants to play for the New York Jets makes total sense to me!!!

  46. chiefwildcat says: Mar 8, 2012 11:16 AM

    rhinosinsider says:
    Mar 8, 2012 10:58 AM
    The Chiefs appear to be overrated to me.

    While they “almost” won the AFC West last year, they also finished last in the division at 7-9 with the other three teams going 8-8.

    They also had the 4th worst net pts in the entire NFL this past season at -126. Only the Colts, Bucs, and Rams were worse. Although, that was largely due to the Chiefs having the 2nd worst scoring offense in the NFL.

    Still, I don’t see the Chiefs having the pieces in place to be legit Super Bowl contenders if they add Manning.

    The Chiefs offense flowed through their running game. The loss of Jamaal Charles was a huge blow. The loss of Tony Moeaki didn’t help either and the defense had to transition into playing without Berry.
    Matt Cassel was nothing more than average, especially with the lack of a running game and don’t forget Tyler Friggin Palko started four games.

  47. mgm36 says: Mar 8, 2012 11:16 AM

    There is no way the Texans will sign Manning. They can’t get under the cap for Mario Williams, Chris Myers, Mike Brisel and Manning. Mario’s gone and Manning is way too expensive for their allotted cap space

  48. hendawg21 says: Mar 8, 2012 11:16 AM

    He prefers AFC over NFC however, I think MONEY will still be a deciding factor…

  49. pongonfl says: Mar 8, 2012 11:20 AM

    If you went by the temperament of the coaches that manning seems to prefer.
    Jim Mora, Dungy, Caldwell.
    Mannings next coach would be more boring then Caldwell…
    9rs would be out, jets would be out, seattle would be out.

    By that metric, KC has to have a leg up. Romeo is calm, in charge, a defensive coach. He is even black. And that team could compete with Manning and a reciever or two of his on the roster.
    Or for a restart he will favour going back to a ra ra guy…and those teams lead the race.

    My bet is the Jets, they are the best team with the worst QB. I see the 9rs continuing to get the game winning qb out of their guy and less game manager. A reasonably priced manning and one or two of his recievers would make the jets kind of terrifying.

    And he doenst have to worry about stepping on Elis toes unless they reach the superbowl.

    We are talking about a very rational man, I doubt he even looks past the jets if they play.

  50. 1buckeye76 says: Mar 8, 2012 11:20 AM

    23. Bengals: “Old and expensive” doesn’t fit with Mike Browns “young and/or cheap” strategy for building a roster.

    ———————————-

    not to mention that we drafted our long term QB last year, and that he took us to the playoffs as a rookie. you never pass a chance to take a shot at the Bengals.

  51. blaz0037 says: Mar 8, 2012 11:32 AM

    He is not going to Miami.

    Geez, get over yourselves. You have Brandon Marshall and thats it. That is not enough to attract Manning.

    I agree the Texans would be the most attractive to him, but who knows.

    And I’m a Vikes fan…

  52. crindal3000 says: Mar 8, 2012 11:35 AM

    Manning will want to be the General on Offensive and not have an egotistical Coach to deal with. he’ll want a good offensive line, and some good to great WR’s. If your team doens’t have those things then Manning isn’t interested.

  53. czechm8d says: Mar 8, 2012 11:36 AM

    7. Ravens…..”The only problem is that, to pull it off, the Ravens would have to be prepared to forever lose Joe Flacco, who is in the last year of his rookie deal.”

    OK, Joe is no Peyton (or a few others). No argument there. But with all respect to Manning, coming from a former Baltimore Colts and now Ravens season ticket holder…

    To give up on a guy coming INTO his prime, with a proven QB coach (Jim Caldwell) on the way in, to take a s-t-b 36 yr old QB with a questionable neck, who would wreck the Ravens salary cap to play at most 3 years, to chance a chance for a SB victory that would burnish Manning’s rep, would destroy the future of the franchise.

    In Ozzie we trust. Don’t do it, Ozz.

  54. weskcfan says: Mar 8, 2012 11:38 AM

    “On a regular basis, Rex would say or do something that would prompt Peyton to break out the ol’ “bitter beer face.”

    I don’t think there’s been a funnier quote on this web-site in months! LOL!

  55. PFTiswhatitis says: Mar 8, 2012 11:40 AM

    Not a fan but the Ravens would be favorites with Manning.

  56. cjepp says: Mar 8, 2012 11:41 AM

    Not a fan of Manning or Dallas by any means, but Manning to the Cowboys would just be cool for some reason.

  57. cgalaxy says: Mar 8, 2012 11:41 AM

    “6. Cowboys: They need a vocal leader, and Peyton would give them just that. More importantly, Peyton could provide someone who likely won’t make a big mistake in a clutch moment of a key game.”

    ———————————————————-

    I guess the key word in those two sentences is “likely,” considering that Payton did just that at the end of the Super Bowl against New Orleans, ending a promising comeback drive with a pick-6 instead.

  58. gateforthesheep says: Mar 8, 2012 11:42 AM

    If this list is the teams that “should be interested”, I think the Bengals should be higher up the list. Taking a jab and saying that Mike Brown doesn’t spend money doesn’t make sense when the article is about teams that “should” be interested.

    Peyton Manning would take the Bengals from fringe playoff team to actual contender. The Bengals have a good offensive line and a good defense. Andy Dalton was solid but not spectacular. Peyton Manning and AJ Green would be downright scary.

    It wouldn’t hurt anyone to have a couple years of Peyton and try to get the Bengals their first Super Bowl win, and let Dalton learn behind him Aaron Rodgers-style.

    We know the Bengals definitely have the cap space.

  59. riverhorsey says: Mar 8, 2012 11:48 AM

    Road to the Super Bowl goes through Kansas City with head Chief Peyton Manning.

    The fans would rock Arrowhead to the ground every game.

  60. scarletmacaw says: Mar 8, 2012 11:53 AM

    The best fit for Manning is a team that is strong nearly everywhere but QB. That’s not the case with the Texans who have Schaub; they don’t need a QB.

    The Chiefs fit the mold, as do the 49ers, Broncos, Vikings, Jaguars, and Jets.

  61. charmcityalum says: Mar 8, 2012 11:54 AM

    @ pftiswhatitis

    The Ravens are one of the favorites without him.

  62. nineroutsider says: Mar 8, 2012 11:57 AM

    Yeah, the 9ers should break the bank and go out of character for Manning. Make the team about him instead of the team. Turn everything into a circus. Then find out he will never play at the same level again and that he is a hit away from leaving the game on a cart. I wish him the best and hope it doesn’t happen that way, but I’d rather watch it unfold with a different team (yes, preferably an AFC team like the Broncos – the added bonus of terrorizing Raider fans would be nice).

    No thanks, I’ll pass even if that means he goes to the Cards or Hawks. I know everyone thinks the 9ers just had a magical season last year, but get ready because they were just getting started. Harbaugh will open it up more next year and Alex can and will make the throws.

  63. anthonytx says: Mar 8, 2012 11:59 AM

    Why in the HELL would the Texans, a team with salary cap issues, a Pro Bowl QB, and a bootleg-heavy offense want a 36 year old guy with feet of stone who can’t pass a physical and would cost more than they could afford? Anytime I see the Texans on one of these lists, I have to laugh… which is what they’re doing whenever someone suggests they try to sign Manning. Ridiculous.

  64. raiders757 says: Mar 8, 2012 12:00 PM

    rhinosinsider says: Mar 8, 2012 10:58 AM

    The Chiefs appear to be overrated to me.

    ————————-

    You are 100% correct, and they’ll be even more so if PM goes there. They’re not nearly as good as the Chiefs fans think they are. Not only that, he’ll never make it through the season playing against a good Chargers defense, a stout Broncos defense, and a more than likely improved Raiders defense(hopefully). The teams hate each other more than most rivals do, and you can bet Peyton will get his bell rung on more than several occasions playing those teams twice a year. He’ll face early retirement next season if he goes to the Chiefs.

  65. 1bobstevensbob1 says: Mar 8, 2012 12:03 PM

    Peyton’s a dome guy. Arizona makes the most sense to me. Good receivers, good D, all they need is some OL help which can be addressed in FA and the draft.

  66. sophiethegreatdane says: Mar 8, 2012 12:07 PM

    Stupid list. Ravens have no interest in Manning, and have a QB who is about to enter his prime in terms of age, health, and experience.

    If this is a list of teams that *should* be interested in Peyton, then the Colts should be #1. Browns, Bengals, Bills, Vikings, Raiders, Jags, ‘Skins should all be ranked as teams that should want Peyton more than Baltimore.

    Duh.

  67. goniners18 says: Mar 8, 2012 12:09 PM

    “6. Cowboys: They need a vocal leader, and Peyton would give them just that. More importantly, Peyton could provide someone who likely won’t make a big mistake in a clutch moment of a key game.”

    Is this comment serious??? Peyton is KNOWN For making big mistakes in clutch moments of key games. He has a much longer history of this then Romo. Why do people seem to ignore this because he won 1 Super Bowl over the Bears. Romo has a long way to go to reach Peyton’s status as a choker…

  68. rocketdogsports says: Mar 8, 2012 12:17 PM

    1.Jerry Jones wants a Super Bowl real bad.
    2. Romo is a no go in the playoffs.
    3. Jerry Jones has big mortgage payments.
    4. Romo can go to Miami for picks.
    5. Draft or buy the OLs & D you need.
    6. Solid running game in Big D.
    7. Miles Austin & company made for Manning.
    8. Dallas goes to New Orleans and wins SB.
    9. Did I hear Reggie Wayne was a FA?
    10. How ’bout them Cowboys?

  69. TSizzleBallSoHard says: Mar 8, 2012 12:25 PM

    Really? 7? You really think the Ravens are hte 7th most interested team to land Peyton? Even though Ozzie laughed at the idea of us getting him? You are dumb.

  70. paulsmith107 says: Mar 8, 2012 12:28 PM

    Love the cowboys on the power rankings. Provides someone who won’t turn the ball over in crucial points in games lol. I am pretty sure Peyton made a living failing in the clutch and didn’t he throw the interception to porter against the saints hell I the bears had a real quarter back he prob wouldn’t have won that super bowl either

  71. t1mmy10 says: Mar 8, 2012 12:28 PM

    1) you’re outta your mind if you think there are more than 12 teams in the league who SHOULD be interested in a soon-to-be 36 year old qb who missed all of last season, had 3 necks surgeries in 1 year, and has yet to prove he’s physically capable agn.

    2) this is no where close to the power rankings list of who may get manning. The #1 & 3 teams publicly said they weren’t interested. This is more like mannings wish list.

    Stick to reporting insider info cuz your analysis of stuff like this is horrible.

  72. preventoffense says: Mar 8, 2012 12:28 PM

    Something doesn’t seem right about this list. If you could go back to 2005 where would you put the Colts on the list based upon the assessments above? I contend they would be low to middle on the list and yet they went to the SB.

  73. shorttracknews says: Mar 8, 2012 12:31 PM

    This site has officially jumped the shark with this ridiculous article.

  74. frankdatank23 says: Mar 8, 2012 12:36 PM

    this list is hardly realistic…….
    Someone should rank the teams based on their actual chances of landing manning.

    You ignore Miami’s talent like they broke your daughters heart or something….. and assume manning is intent on driving up the price.

    Miami has all the peices to compete except QB. The reason you consider the other teams more ready to win is because they already have a QB ! Use your brain !

    The phins have the all-pro LT, C, WR, one of the bess slot WRs in the game….. and reggie bush. Pretty much the ultimate starter kit for a QB. They also have marketing, and ofcourse, weather advantages. Let’s not forget he a louisiana boy. To assume he’d be interested in moving to houston or denver is a leap. The guy lives in S.Fl right now.

  75. lanjoith says: Mar 8, 2012 12:43 PM

    You can take any cold weather team without a dome out of the mix. Denver and KC don’t make any sense. If you take away the NFC teams as well you are left with Houston, Jacksonville and Miami. I doubt he wants to be in a division with Brady so take out Miami. Jacksonville isn’t a QB away from contending so eliminate them. Houston is warm, they play in a dome so climate can be controlled, is in a weak division, has weapons on offense and a stout defense. Matt Shaub could fetch the Texans a decent draft pick via a trade and who better for T.J. Yates to learn under that Peyton Manning?

  76. johntonioholmes says: Mar 8, 2012 12:44 PM

    I’d put the Steelers and the Pats lower than the Lions.

    Nothing against Stafford, but if you gave Brady or Roethlisberger Calvin Johnson they would turn in better seasons than Stafford did.

    Heck, Brady would probably touch 6,000 yards passing.

    Can you imagine Manning with a receiver like that, though? He’s never had anything close; all of his receivers were small route-runners.

    I would really like to see Manning with a big physical receiver like Fitzgerald, Calvin or Andre Johnson

  77. johntonioholmes says: Mar 8, 2012 12:48 PM

    goniners18

    Are you seriously kidding? Manning has had some bad games in the playoffs.

    He has also led 5 consecutive scoring drives to bring his team out of a hole and win the game.

    In 2009, he embarrassed the Jets with their allegedly great secondary.

    Romo has like 3 comeback wins under his belt. He’s better known for throwing left-handed interceptions, or throwing directly into Revis’s hands, or muffing the snap.

  78. blackqbwhiterb says: Mar 8, 2012 12:53 PM

    Manning to Houston, Schaub to Washington, reunited with Kyle Shanahan. Cleveland gets RG3 in the draft, Washington takes Cousins in the 2nd round to develop behind 31 year old oft-injured Schaub, and becomes the next great Redskins QB!!

  79. kane337 says: Mar 8, 2012 1:10 PM

    Terrible rankings. Vegas has Miami a 2 to 1 favorite to land him.

  80. jcfromkc says: Mar 8, 2012 1:17 PM

    Manning will stay in the AFC (not competing with brother). He would prefer indoor stadium, but will pick between Miami and KC settling on KC. Miami is in same division as Brady…does he really want to do that? KC has the cap space, wants to/needs to make a splash (arrowhead would be full, the city would shut down on Sundays,Monday, sometimes on Thursdays.). He would be able to install his offense with dabols/scooters input. KC can draft Reiff (IOWA/Ferentz) 1st round and sign free agent Carl Nicks or Ben Grubbs (there goes some more cap)……..Oline would be Albert, Nicks, Hudson, Asamoah, Reiff. Jeff Saturday a possibility and Lilja as a backup. 2nd round DT in alemeda? (washington). Development across the board on the D (top 5-10 next year). Superbowl or bust.

    Cassell with be traded/cut (he will want out) saving cap at this point.

    Arizona–Not happening. No talent except Fitzgerald. INDOOR stadium. NEGATIVE in the NFC…more on that

    Miami–Big Possibility. Brandon Marshall, maybe Reggie Wayne, Reggie Bush. Jake Long. Great D. AFC and storied franchise. Open checkbook

    Kansas City–Big Possibility. Killer B’s (Bowe, Breaston, Baldwin), Moeaki, Charles. Albert. Great D. Good Coach, Good Front Office. Salary Cap space (needs to be used by 2013). New offensive system anyway. Similar environment to Indy. Arrowhead. Weak division NEGATIVE: Outdoor stadium, below avg. OLINE

    San Fran–Small Possibility. Great Oline, D, recievers and backs. NFC title game. Good coach. storied franchise.

    Seattle—Maybe. Open check book. Weak Division, Coaching? Indoor stadium. Negatives: NFC.

    Washington—not happening with Eli in same divisison. Dysfunction

    New York Jets—-not competing with Eli (Eleanor) in New York. Dysfunction

    Houston—Matt Schaub

    Denver—not happening. Tebow.

    Titans—-same division as Colts……not happening

  81. 1historian says: Mar 8, 2012 2:29 PM

    When training starts it will have been 18 months since he threw a serious pass.

    When training starts he will be 36+ years old.

    He is below .500 in the playoffs.

    He has had neck surgery and his older brother Cooper couldn’t play football at all because of neck problems.

    Wherever he goes he will be playing with people whom he is not familiar with and so they will have problems adjusting to playing with him, especially the O line and IMO he is one big hit away from a wheelchair.

    His best days are fading in the rear-view mirror and any team that signs him the GM should be run out of town.

    If he weren’t so selfish and egotistical he would put his family first – just this once – and retire.

  82. Deb says: Mar 8, 2012 2:42 PM

    Wow. Reading this made me realize we really have no idea where this guy is going.

  83. edgerules says: Mar 8, 2012 2:47 PM

    1historian pretty much summed up a lot of things that ANY team thinking about taking him on should look at. I know the sports “experts” on NFLN like Jamie Dukes, and the cheerleaders at ESPN like Trent Dilfer think Peyton Manning is a magic elixir, but seriously.

    The guy has a suspect neck. He will be 36 years old when the OTAs and all that start. He hasn’t been in a meaningful game in over a year. Any GM who signs him without working him out is NUTS.

    As for this list, I mean, seriously. The Steelers and the Pats should be a lot lower. Both do NOT need Peyton Manning. Ridiculous. The Ravens don’t need him either. Lee Evans hangs on to the ball, Flacco would have been good enough to have gotten his team to the Super Bowl this year. The whole list is goofy.

  84. pastabelly says: Mar 8, 2012 2:48 PM

    If the Patriots were to sign Manning, Belichick would then be hated by every single fan base. Of course, if he signs Vincent Jackson or Mike Wallace and Gronk can stay healthy . . . .

  85. WestCoastVet says: Mar 8, 2012 3:40 PM

    “49ers: The NFC equivalent of the Texans, the Niners nearly made it to the Super Bowl with Alex Smith. Add Peyton Manning, and they could win the next two or three.”

    I’ve been saying this for the last week on PFT. I feel like starting a petition to send to the Niners to get Harbaugh to change his mind.

    I know a lot of other 9er fans on here have a man-crush on Alex Smith but I bet that’s because he’s been the best (not saying much, at all) QB we’ve had since Joe Garcia left. Cut the bromance. We get Peyton and it’s game over NFL.

  86. warhammer420 says: Mar 8, 2012 5:13 PM

    tjacks7 – Did you see what Stafford did last year? I would not want any other young QB to build around. After next season, he will be regarded as one of the elite passers in the league. Count on it.

    Oh, and Manning to Miami, I think.

  87. stevecmh says: Mar 8, 2012 6:29 PM

    For the record, Tony Romo lead 4 game-winning 4th quarter comeback wins last season, and has engineered 14 such wins in his career.

    I guess that’s what johnantonioholmes meant when he wrote “Romo has like 3 comeback wins under his belt.”

  88. dhillca says: Mar 8, 2012 7:14 PM

    Patriots ha good one

  89. notwhoyouthinkitis says: Mar 8, 2012 8:12 PM

    “Steelers: The organization seems to be souring a little on Ben Roethlisberger, in part because he has grown too accustomed to running the show. ”

    That is pure rubbish. There really is not a shred of evidence to support that statement. Nada. Zip. This is a classic example of media making up a story just so they can then perpetuate it. Disgusting journalism and complete lack of accountability by the writer.

  90. bozosforall says: Mar 8, 2012 8:57 PM

    1historian says:
    Mar 8, 2012 2:29 PM
    When training starts it will have been 18 months since he threw a serious pass.

    When training starts he will be 36+ years old.

    He is below .500 in the playoffs.

    He has had neck surgery and his older brother Cooper couldn’t play football at all because of neck problems.

    Wherever he goes he will be playing with people whom he is not familiar with and so they will have problems adjusting to playing with him, especially the O line and IMO he is one big hit away from a wheelchair.

    His best days are fading in the rear-view mirror and any team that signs him the GM should be run out of town.

    If he weren’t so selfish and egotistical he would put his family first – just this once – and retire.

    __
    The words of a jealous Pats idiot fan who will never be able to admit to the fact that Peyton Manning will always be a better QB than Tom Brady. The comparison of their respective career postseason QB ratings (not the inapplicable W-L records, which is a TEAM stat) highlights this;

    Manning – 88.6
    Brady – 86.0

  91. packerbadger says: Mar 9, 2012 9:37 AM

    I’m tired of hearing about Peyton. Put a fork in him…..he’s done.

  92. zampft says: Mar 9, 2012 3:39 PM

    Colts and Bucs should be higher. Colts didn’t want to pay 28 million to keep a guy they can’t be sure would be healthy. But if he can stay where he is, and the Colts beat other offers for next season’s pay, and they can trade away the #1 pick, that starts to be a good fit again.

    Bucs have to be nervous about whether the real Josh Freeman is the 91 QB rating one from two years ago, or the horrendous QB from last year. Most franchise quarterbacks have a great third year, and don’t stink it up like he did unless they have an injury. The hushed talk around here is that Freeman didn’t perform well once opposing teams figured him out.

    Consider that the Glazers wanted a franchise quarterback more than anything when they fired Gruden, and that they are not afraid to take chances. They need a major drawing card to turn around the poor attendance and bring the Buccaneer brand back up out of the toilet.

    The Bucs have the cap room, they have the warm weather Peyton desires, they have a coach in Greg Schiano who would be Peyton’s kind of guy, Peyton could live next door to Tony Dungy, and the Bucs offer an offensive line that was ranked somewhere around 8th best in the league in sacks + hits surrendered.

    I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if the Buccaneers were one of the mystery 5.

  93. patsfan1951 says: Mar 13, 2012 5:30 PM

    Peyton Manning is Brett Favre, the sequel! Nobody knows what he’ll be like when he returns to the game. If there was any chance he would return as he was before the injury, the Colts would have kept him.

    Manning is a major gamble both for himself and the team he chooses to play for in 2012. One hit could leave him paralyzed.

    Reading your article is like listening to the Republican presidential hopefuls……a total waste of time!

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