A week ago, it was inconceivable that a team would sign quarterback Peyton Manning without personally inspecting his current ability to throw a football.
That word continues to not mean what I think it means.
The news that Manning won’t be making any more visits, if accurate, means that unless he threw for the Broncos and/or the Cardinals over the weekend (and he apparently didn’t), he won’t be throwing for anyone.
And so someone will be expected to offer Peyton huge money without assessing his current arm strength.
That said, teams can watch repeatedly the 27-second Zapruder film that appeared on YouTube 10 days ago. Or maybe some more meaningful (and clear) video has been prepared for private inspection.
But is that a satisfactory substitute for Peyton grabbing a ball and showing what he can do?
The fact that the Broncos, Dolphins, and Cardinals are chasing him for reasons unrelated to his current arm strength likely has kept any of them from telling him that, if he doesn’t throw, he won’t be offered a contract. For Denver, acquiring Manning solves the Tebow conundrum once and for all. For Miami, having Peyton under contract will cover up those awful orange seats at SunLife Stadium with humans. For Arizona, Peyton at 50-percent arm strength likely will be at least 150 percent better than their current alternatives.
Fewer and fewer people know Latin these days, but “caveat emptor” doesn’t refer to a place where a bear used to live. It means “buyer beware,” and the teams who are chasing Peyton should ask themselves why a guy who has been throwing footballs all his life suddenly isn’t eager to do so.