Fact: Tennessee native Jimmy Haslam will the next owner of the Browns.
Fact: Peyton Manning went to the University of Tennessee.
Fact: Jimmy Haslam and Peyton Manning are good friends.
Where it goes from there remains to be seen. If Haslam had purchased the Browns before March 2012, things could have gotten interesting.
Things could still get interesting, after Manning is done playing. Drawn to Tennessee as a potential destination earlier this year by the possibility of partial ownership and/or a significant role in the football operation after retirement, Peyton will now have a possible option in Cleveland, if he wants to try to run a team.
The chatter in Tennessee sports circles was that, if Haslam ultimately purchased the Titans from Bud Adams (or his estate), Manning would have been hired to serve as G.M. So maybe, just maybe, Haslam will try to get Manning eventually to come run the Browns.
The fact that John Elway has quickly had success as V.P. of football operations in Denver makes the proposition far less outlandish. Especially since no one will outwork Manning, regardless of what he chooses to do after his playing career ends.
The fact that the Broncos already have Elway means that Peyton will have to look elsewhere, if Peyton wants to be like Elway.
And so it could be that Peyton Manning eventually helps turn around the Browns. But not as a player.