Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Depending on who you want to believe, free agent quarterback Peyton Manning could land with any number of teams, or he could end up watching another season from his couch.
According to Vegas books, the Dolphins are currently the leaders to land the services of Manning. It’s easy to see why based on climate, roster, ready-made contender, and he already owns a home in South Florida.
But not so fast said CBSSports.com experts, many of them favor Arizona to land the future Hall of Fame quarterback in the 2012 offseason.
There’s also the possibility that wide receiver Reggie Wayne could join Manning in Miami.
“It’s a great fit for him,” Wayne told WQAM Wednesday afternoon, according to Dave Hyde of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Senior NFL columnist Pete Prisco, senior NFL blogger Will Brinson, Eye on Football blogger Ryan Wilson, and Senior Fantasy writer Jamey Eisenberg all believe that Manning is heading to the Arizona Cardinals.
The Cardinals play in a dome, they have the game’s best receiver in Larry Fitzgerald, and they play in the worst conference in the NFL. So theoretically, the path to the playoffs would be much quicker.
In addition, Manning would get to avoid playing Tom Brady twice a season if he signed with a team in the AFC East like the Miami Dolphins.
But, Arizona has some issues that would have to be fixed as well. The team has no offensive line to speak of and the team just signed a six-year, $65 million contract with quarterback Kevin Kolb during last year’s offseason.
Kolb received $12 million guaranteed and a $10 million signing bonus and is due a roughly $7 million roster bonus as of March 17. The notoriously tight-fisted Bidwell family that owns the Cardinals may be loathe to cough up around $30 million more to sign Manning.
There’s another team that CBSSports.com Senior NFL Columnist Clark Judge and National NFL Insider Mike Freeman believe could be a landing spot for Manning, the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Chiefs offer up a solid running game, two big receivers, a developing tight end, but need massive work on the offensive line. The defense in Kansas City is decent as well and new head coach Romeo Crennel is ready to push the defense further.
Still, Vegas is putting their money on Miami, but only time will tell.