Where in the world is Peyton Manning?

The Colts waved goodbye to Peyton Manning after 14 seasons

The Indianapolis Colts released Peyton Manningon Wednesday, and Manning is now looking for a new place to play.

With the first pick and Andrew Luck sitting atop the board ready for the picking, the Colts decided they would rather go that direction than pay Manning the $28 million he was due on Thursday.  Along with that money, Manning turns 36 on March 24, and is coming off of four major neck surgeries.

However, just because the Colts were finished with Manning does not mean another team isn’t ready to start with him.  It has been reported that by Thursday morning, as many as 12 teams had contacted Manning’s agent about getting the future Hall of Famer to suit up for them in 2012.

Just about every media outlet has given their audience potential suitors for Manning.  Everyone has heard about the Redskins, the Dolphins, the 49ers and the Jets all being possibilities.  Here are reasons the 6-foot-5-inch, 230 pound quarterback with a laser, rocket arm could be playing for any team in the upcoming season.

Arizona Cardinals: Arizona struck gold by signing an aging Kurt Warner, who ultimately took them to the only Super Bowl the franchise has ever been to.   Kevin Kolb’s one season didn’t pan out, so the Cardinals are ready to catch lightning in a bottle once again.

Atlanta Falcons: Matt Ryan quarterbacked a team that scored two, count them, two points in an NFL playoff game.  Peyton Manning would certainly have the Falcons making more than just one lay-up.

Baltimore Ravens: That organization has to be sick of watching Joe Flacco flounder around on the shoulders of Ray Rice and a strong defense.  Plus, Peyton Manning together with Ray Lewis, Ed Reed?  Madden 2004 called and wants their AFC Pro Bowl team back.

Buffalo Bills: If Manning shows ANY ability to stop the run in his workouts, the Bills could be big players in the Manning sweepstakes.

Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton would make for an extremely effective tailback behind Manning, and putting him there limits the chances he will throw an interception.  More importantly though, more rushing touchdowns for Newton means more of the way cool Superman celebration thing he does.

Chicago Bears: Peyton Manning is like a less turnover prone version of Jay Cutler.  Plus, in this scenario, Cutler is the Bears’s backup quarterback instead of Josh McCown.

Cincinnati Bengals: The Bengals made the playoffs behind Andy Dalton, and lost to T.J. Yates.  With Manning at the helm, at least they’d get knocked out by a good quarterback.

Cleveland Browns: The Browns continue picking up the fecal matter they put on the field every year and flinging at their fans and hoping something sticks.  If you’re going to throw something at your fans, why not make it a future Hall of Famer?

Dallas Cowboys: Tony Romo is currently their quarterback.  Yep.

Denver Broncos: This would be the best situation for Manning.  Tim Tebow could teach him a few things about winning football games.

Detroit Lions: Matthew Stafford was one of three quarterbacks to throw for 5,000 yards last season.  He will inevitably get hurt again though.  Manning starting for a few years would decrease Stafford’s chances of sustaining an injury.

Green Bay Packers: Remember what Matt Flynn did in his one start for the Pack last year?  Imagine what Peyton Manning would have done.

Houston Texans: Did you see how far the Texans got on the right shoulder of T.J. Yates?  Manning plus one of the league’s best defenses would be an unstoppable juggernaut.

Indianapolis Colts: Well…this is awkward.

Jacksonville Jaguars: While Manning isn’t in the same universe as Blaine Gabbert in the hair department, Gabbert isn’t in the same universe as Manning in the quarterback department.  Unfortunately for the Jags, hair doesn’t win football games.

Kansas City Chiefs: In his career, Kyle Orton has been replaced by Rex Grossman and Tim Tebow, both of them had reasonable success.  Imagine where the Chiefs would go if Orton was to be replaced by Manning.

Miami Dolphins: The Dolphins could potentially reel in Reggie Wayne as well, which would give the Dolphins Brandon Marshall and Reggie Wayne to go with 1,000 yard rusher Reggie Bush.  Add in Green Bay’s former offensive coordinator Joe Philbin, and the Dolphins become a lethal offensive machine with Peyton Manning under center.

Minnesota Vikings: With Adrian Peterson having everything in his knee torn to shreds late last season, the Vikings will need to rely more heavily on their quarterback.  It seems logical that they’d rather lean on Peyton Manning than Christian Ponder.

New England Patriots: The Patriots and Tom Brady can’t beat Eli Manning, so maybe bringing in Peyton will change their fortunes in that department.

New Orleans Saints: The Saints are about ready to make Drew Brees mad enough that he doesn’t re-sign with the team.  If Drew Brees is going to vacate the quarterback position in New Orleans, Manning would certainly be good enough to fill the void.  It would also be a good spot for Manning to avoid the Saints putting a bounty on him.

New York Jets: Manning would not only solve the Jets’s problem at quarterback, but he would also improve their woes at offensive coordinator.  That way if his neck becomes an issue, they’d at least have an offensive coordinator that could assist Mark Sanchez and the Jets’s offense.

Oakland Raiders: The Raiders gave up two high draft picks for Carson Palmer.  Imagine the kind of money Peyton freaking Manning would fetch in the Bay Area.  Not to mention the AFC West stinks and Manning vault the Raiders to the top of the division.

Philadelphia Eagles: Not unlike the Jets, the Eagles could use some better coaching.  All indications point to Manning being able to run a team better than Andy Reid.  If he doesn’t work out as a QB, at least they have a nice new coach.

Pittsburgh Steelers: At the very least, Manning would be a nice backup for Ben Roethlisberger so when Roethlisberger inevitably gets hurt, he doesn’t have to play on injured limbs for five or six games in order to keep Pittsburgh in contention.

San Diego Chargers: Not only was Phillip Rivers bad last season, but Norv Turner MUST be on his way out soon.  This brings the Chargers into the Jets and Eagles realm of struggling coaching staffs that would be positively affected by Manning’s arrival.

San Francisco 49ers: Despite Alex Smith, the 49ers went to the NFC Championship game in 2011.  So there’s that.

Seattle Seahawks: Marshawn Lynch and Peyton Manning would be an unstoppable duo in the realm of Skittles advertisement.

St.Louis Rams: They’re in love with Sam Bradford, but who will play the 12 games after he gets injured?  Peyton Manning could easily be that guy.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The best quarterback the Bucs have had in two decades is Brad Johnson.  That says a lot about the state of that franchise.  Those fans deserve better.  Not to mention that Manning would feel like he was back at Tennessee when Tampa went with the throwback creamsicle uniforms.

Tennessee Titans: The Titans thought a 36-year-old Matt Hasselbeck was the answer last season.  There’s no telling what they’ll do to go get a 35-year-old Peyton Manning.  Plus, Peyton played his college ball at Tennessee.  Should he end his career there, the “his career has come full circle” narrative would be tremendous.

Washington Redskins: Dan Snyder is dying to spend a lot of money, and is going to throw $4.2 billion dollars at Peyton Manning and pray that he is more productive than DeAngelo Hall and Albert Haynesworth.


Prediction: Many teams will make offers to Manning, but realistically, the Broncos, 49ers and Dolphins are the most likely teams to sign him.  Elway doesn’t seem sold on Tebow, and if they’re going to bring in a quarterback, why not bring in one who is arguably better than Elway was.  The 49ers may not want to kill the momentum they gained with Alex Smith last season, and the team has reportedly put an offer on the table for Smith, who is currently a free agent.  The Dolphins are loaded with talent on offense, especially if Reggie Bush has actually figured it out.  There’s also talk Reggie Wayne would go to Miami as well.  Throw in Head Coach Joe Philbin, who was the offensive coordinator for Aaron Rodgers in his Super Bowl and MVP seasons, and South Beach seems like the right spot for Peyton to take his talents.


Author’s revision: Arizona, and as one commentor pointed out, Kansas City are possible landing spots for Manning as well.  Arizona just invested a lot in Kevin Kolb, so it is unclear on whether they’re ready to go elsewhere for a quarterback.  Kansas City is a likely destination given their lack of a quarterback, salary cap space and weak division.


Listen to Kyle Madson on the Mad Mad World of Sports on kssu.com every Tuesday at 8pm PST/ 11pm EST.  Follow him on Twitter: @MadSports8



  1. Your prediction stinks. Manning will not go to the Broncos or 49ers, because the same Agency represents Tebow, Smith, and Manning. Why would they want to dethrone one of their starting QBs? Doesn’t it make more sense from their perspective to shop Manning to a team whose starter they don’t currently represent?

    Peyton Manning will not sign with an NFC team in any case, because of Eli. Miami does not have the money to sign Peyton and Reggie Wayne. Miami plays in the same division as New England. I don’t think Peyton needs the extra headache of playing Belichick twice a year.

    The path it makes the most sense to follow is the path of least resistance, and that would be to play in the AFC West. Who has the money and the right situation for Peyton Manning? The Kansas City Chiefs, that’s where he’s going.

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