The leader of the Giants - QB Eli Manning - has been one of the constants for the Giants - and the NFL -over the past five years, a span in which the club has won two Super Bowls with Eli being named MVP in both games. Many NFL teams are seeing that you can't win the Super Bowl unless you have an elite QB under center.
The past decade has proven that. The league's upper crust of the QBs (Eli, Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Eli's brother, Peyton) have all led their teams to Super Bowl titles at least once.
Now Peyton is on the market, and a frenzy not seen in years, is about to ensue. Teams are lining up make their cases known...
HOF journalist Ray Didinger of CSNPhilly has been through a few rodeos in his time, but nothing can can compare to this. He has a long list of landing spots for Peyton, including (of course) with his beloved Eagles:
Other possible destinations as per Didinger:
WashingtonThe Redskins have finished last in the NFC East four years in a row, which does not sit well with owner Daniel Snyder. Coach Mike Shanahan has suffered through two miserable seasons with Donovan McNabb, Rex Grossman and John Beck. The last time Shanahan had any real success, it was with an all-time great quarterback, John Elway. If Shanahan is going to get back on top – and he knows the clock is ticking – he may decide he needs another great veteran quarterback to get him there. If it is just a matter of money (and it is) expect the Redskins to be among the most active bidders.
New York JetsThe Jets are coming off an 8-8 season that was almost as disappointing as the Eagles’ 8-8 season. Coach Rex Ryan promised a Super Bowl and delivered a Broadway flop. Yes, the Jets have a lot invested in Mark Sanchez, but the young quarterback took a major step back last season and now some in the organization are questioning whether he has what it takes to win it all. The Jets also have to contend with the Giants strutting around town as Super Bowl champs so they may want to make a big splash if only to become relevant again. Bringing in Peyton Manning to share the big stage with little brother Eli would do it.
MiamiOwner Stephen Ross likes stars. His minority partners include Marc Anthony, Gloria Estefan and Serena Williams. Trouble is those stars are sitting next to him in the owner’s box. He needs stars on the field, stars that will sell tickets and restore interest in the team. Manning would do that. Since Dan Marino retired in 1999, the Dolphins have started 16 different quarterbacks – try to name more than five, I dare you – and the team has gone nowhere. That would change if they signed Manning.
ArizonaA few years ago, the Cardinals brought in a veteran quarterback named Kurt Warner and, suddenly, they became a contender. They went to a Super Bowl and came within one Ben Roethlisberger drive of winning it all. The team still has some good pieces –notably wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald – and it plays its games in a comfy dome (which Peyton likes) and coach Ken Whisenhunt probably looks at Manning and sees the Kurt Warner scenario all over again. But the team made a big commitment to Kevin Kolb last year and still have a lot of money tied up with him. Would that keep the Cardinals from making a move?
San FranciscoOften mentioned as a destination, I just don’t know how likely it is. The 49ers have a championship-caliber defense and some good weapons on the offense (Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, maybe Michael Crabtree). They also have a dynamic coach in Jim Harbaugh (who just happens to be the quarterback Peyton Manning replaced in Indianapolis). Plug a healthy Manning in at quarterback and the 49ers become a real Super Bowl threat.
Kansas CityA sleeper. The Chiefs did something similar years ago when they traded for Joe Montana and the future Hall of Famer took them to the AFC title game and might have won it if he didn’t suffer a concussion late in the first half against Buffalo. The Chiefs have a good defense, weapons on offense (Dwayne Bowe, Jamaal Charles, Jon Baldwin) and the laid-back American Heartland feel of Kansas City is very much like Indianapolis where Manning was quite happy. He really isn’t a big city kind of guy.
EaglesOK, I knew you were waiting for this one. No, I don’t think the Eagles are in the running here. I believe they are committed to Michael Vick for at least one more year and that’s that.