A QB Russian Roulette wheel
Mar 13, 2012 / 9:00 am
It’s the second Sunday in March, 2012. Glenn Howard is sucking double doubles out of another Tim Hortons Brier Tankard, Tiger Woods is enduring a white Bronco-style aerial chase away from Doral post-injury withdrawal, the Canucks, Leafs and Bruins are all enjoying end-of-season naps and we are fully 170+ days away from the opening kick-off of the NFL season – seems only right that we talk football! And who better to talk about than the 4-Time League MVP, the one, the only, the other Manning, Eli’s older brother, Oreo spokesperson and free agent extraordinaire – Peyton. The former face of the Colts franchise, indeed of the city of Indianapolis was released ceremoniously this week – no really - nice little press conference complete with suitably contrite owner Jim Irsay, tears from both sides and an understanding that can’t miss prospect Andrew Luck and #18 couldn’t co-exist professionally or financially were the Colts to contend sooner rather than later. Then, as social media exploded with every possible prediction and the bobble-heads checked every unnamed source in their Smart-phones, Archie’s boy calmly boarded a plane and headed back to his condo in South Florida. Then, as Tom Condon of Creative Artists Agency (Football Division) went to work earning his 10% and fielding calls from all points NFL, it is largely believed that Football’s Most Famous Neck did the unthinkable – he took a siesta! Good idea, it was about to become a long week until that NFL Super Tuesday when free agents could in fact be signed.
It appears from all accounts that 12 teams have admitted to contacting Peyton’s super-agent to inquire about the availability of his services, his interest in their cities and the financial wherewithal which would be required to lure him to the bargaining table. Here is my own list of the suspicious, those who may have joined Colonel Mustard in the billiard room – achieved through painful research, Twitter trolling and that age-old forgotten method known simply as ‘careful thought.’ Without doubt the Jets, Dolphins, Titans, Broncos, Chiefs, Browns, Texans, Seahawks, Redskins and Cardinals all tried to phone a friend and that makes 10. I would hazard a guess that the remaining 2 were the 49ers and the Bears (this one is a guess but they always need a QB every year), although some reports have the Eagles and even the Cowboys in the mix! Here’s where I am saddened because I miss Al Davis – that crazy fruit bat would have called so fast he would have tore a leisure suit zipper! He then would have traded Carson Palmer for the secret McRib recipe and a gross of already outdated Lin-Sanity hoodies. I really do miss him. Other than FOX’s Jason Whitlock, is there anybody that hasn’t realized that, neck and all, #18 is the most sought after free agent the NFL has ever seen? Sorry Mr. Whitlock your assertions of Reggie White or Deion Sanders don’t even belong in the discussion but thanks for playing and please pick up your copy of the home game on your way out.
So, now with all the suspects gathered, somebody just had to load the gun and get this game of who blinks first a la “Deer Hunter” going. Peyton was kind enough to do the honours subtly hinting that he would have no interest in any team from the NFC East. I could hear Washington owner Dan Snyder’s heart break from here and then he did something unheard of in Redskin Nation – he turned his attention to the Draft! With Luck already spoken for as the ‘can’t miss prospect’ and Snyder’s inability to make logical football moves (he is from the Al Davis/Jerry Jones school of non-thought), he targeted Baylor Heisman Trophy winning QB Robert Griffin III. Truth be told, only football insiders as entrenched as Deep Throat had heard of RG3 prior to his meteoric late season ascendancy and stellar Combine workout, but Snyder, performing to type traded a 2nd rounder in 2012 and 1st rounders in ‘13 and ’14 to move up 4 spots from 6 to 2 and ensure his… wait for it… it’s worth it… ‘QB of the future.’ Ah, cast your mind back to 1998 and those glory days when brilliant late-season performances by a certain Washington State QB almost overshadowed a solid, if unspectacular college tenure by Peyton at Tennessee. We wouldn’t be here if Indy had done the unthinkable and taken Ryan Leaf back then. Don’t get me wrong, RG3 has every chance to be a star in the NFL – it just gets old watching Snyder spend like a Kardashian whilst mortgaging future picks in a lame Searching for Herschel Walker Texas Ranger kind of way – and I don’t even like the ‘Skins.
But, back to Manning, now on a flight to Denver where for 6 hours John Elway will explain to Peyton how Bronco management represent an organization devoted to their QB and how he will ship the Tim Tebow Experiment to the first franchise to offer him a sack of used balls and Taylor Swift’s phone number. I always enjoyed Gary Busey’s doppelganger when he was taking snaps under centre but as an executive, he is starting to have that whiff of Michael Jordan cologne follow him wherever he goes. And then onward for 6 ½ hours with the Cardinals (you know Elway was sweating that extra half an hour) who undoubtedly played the “what have you got to lose” card and had WR Larry Fitzgerald model several different #18 jerseys for an alluring photo-shoot. With the Colts continuing to clean house of their hoarded talent, popular thought is that Peyton will more than likely bring C Jeff Saturday, TE Dallas Clark and WR Reggie Wayne along for the ride should his new franchise require their services and undoubtedly Larry Fitzgerald would love to run at least one route in Arizona without the ever-present double coverage. Wheels up in Phoenix and on Monday, Peyton is off to the Dolphins where he will no doubt be greeted by an extremely anxious owner in Stephen Ross and what remains of The Miami Sound Machine. While yours truly initially thought that talent-wise and positionally (the AFC East sets up annual home-and-homes with Brady in New England and a potential Manning Super Bowl!) the Dolphins would be the perfect fit, it appears that the lure of South Beach may be tainted by its new high profile, Lebronian/high flier/big spender ‘Miami’ Marlins/Heat attitude which traditionally the small-town Manning (unlike Eli) has shied away from. Let’s just see if thoughts of endless Marc Anthony anthems helps, or hinders the Dolphins’ cause.
With a Manning decision expected by mid-week, Green Bay back-up Matt Flynn waits anxiously knowing those who come a-calling will very much depend on which barrel the Peyton bullet ends up in. The Jets and Niners have accepted their lots in life and will sojourn on with Mark Sanchez and Alex Smith respectively. The Seahawks will probably try one more year with Tarvaris Jackson until Matt Berkeley leaves USC next year and the Bears may very well try to re-unite with Kyle Orton or just go with no QB at all. Peyton’s release has domino-effected Flynn the most, especially financially as NFL teams like the Browns have been forced to pause at the teller window and wait for that Discount Double Check on the Aaron Rodgers protégé. Ah,such is the QB circle of life my friends. Hakuna matata and all that stuff…
Read more A Sports Fan Speaks articles
- There comes a time... Mar 5
- The envelope please... Feb 26
- Bullet in the Chamber Feb 19
- A superb Super Bowl...honestly Feb 5
- Playoffs? Are you kidding me? Jan 29
- And we're back... Jan 22
- Looking ahead...and a bit behind Jan 15
- Collective disregard Jan 8
(Click for RSS instructions.)