Still Waitin’ For Peyton
Sports Fan Insider
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The more the hours continue to tick by; the less it looks like free agent quarterback Peyton Manning is going to be coming to the Miami Dolphins.
Miami Dolphins fans have seen this act before: high-priced talent flirts with the team and gets them right to the altar, and then leaves them standing there holding nothing.
Manning will meet with the Tennessee Titans in Nashville Wednesday afternoon.
The Titans entered the Manning sweepstakes late, but with the free agent quarterback’s ties to the area, could jump to the head of the pack quickly.
Titans’ owner Bud Adams has repeatedly said Manning is his guy and he’ll do whatever it takes to get him under center.
Adams said he thinks Manning really is interested in the Titans’ offer, and he expects a quick decision from the four-time MVP.
Manning played at the University of Tennessee and his name is still popular for children in the Volunteer State.
Peyton’s wife is from Memphis and the quarterback knows the Titans’ facilities after Tennessee and Indianapolis held some joint practices there.
Early Monday morning the Denver Post quoted an unnamed source that said Peyton had narrowed his top picks down to two teams, the Denver Broncos and the Titans. But, a second NFL source in the same story said Manning is considering Denver, but Miami could be the sleeper team to worry about.
The biggest key is Adams, the 89-year-old billionaire who wants back in the playoffs. His Titans have been only twice since 2004 with both trips in 2007 and 2008 lasting only one game each.
When he wants a quarterback, he gets him whether it was having his Titans draft Vince Young in 2006 or signing Warren Moon away from the CFL.
But, Adams’ track record with quarterbacks has been hit and miss at best. While he did well with Warren Moon and Steve McNair; Vince Young was an abject failure.
Plus, Adams must have no faith in his current crop of quarterbacks including: Matt Hasselbeck and Jake Locker, a first-round pick last year.
Once Manning meets with the Titans, it’s expected that he will be finished with teams and could make a decision as quickly as the end of the week.
Whoever Manning chooses will go from NFL also-ran to playoff favorite very quickly.
For the Dolphins, Manning represents everything the team has needed for the past 13 years. But, with the team shedding its biggest offensive weapon, Brandon Marshall, Tuesday; it’s hard to see why Manning would want to join the Fins at this time.
If the Fins ultimately lose out, or simply pass on Manning, new head coach Joe Philbin’s regime will always be measured against the success Manning has elsewhere.
Philbin gave Manning his best sales pitch, but Manning made them come to him instead of the other way around.
Everyone is looking for a sign as to Manning’s thinking, but honestly, no one really knows what Manning is thinking.
Once the decision is made, the losers will have to move quickly to shore up their roster elsewhere in free agency and then quickly pivot to the draft.
However, with both of the top quarterbacks spoken for in the 2012 NFL Draft, the quarterback pickings will be slim.
The Fins could target either Ryan Tannehill or Brandon Weeden in the draft, but the drop off from Manning, Andrew Luck, or Robert Griffin, III to those quarterbacks is dramatic.