NFL free agency has been fast and furious as many teams have added good pieces to get better.
The Buffalo Bills added former Texans defensive end/linebacker Mario Williams to their team. Former Tennessee Titan cornerback Cortland Finnegan took his talents to St. Louis when they gave him $50 million and wide receiver Randy Moss came out of retirement to sign with the San Francisco 49ers. But the focus for the whole free agency has been on one elite quarterback. Peyton Manning mania has taken over and it certainly has hit fever pitch level this week.
In Tennessee, most of the town is clamoring for Manning to come. Many have a vision of Peyton coming in and leading this team back to the Super Bowl. But in reality, people are neglecting to look at the whole picture. Sure, Manning would be an upgrade at quarterback for the Titans, but at what cost?
The Titans have roughly around $28 million in salary cap room. If they sign Manning, they more than likely will chew up most of that salary cap. Titans owner Bud Adams has said he would do anything to get Peyton here and that is a scary thing.
I’m guessing the Titans would give Peyton almost $20 million a year if they did sign him. They would release Matt Hasselbeck, but they would still owe him money that would count against the cap as well. If you tie up most of your cap room in Manning, what other talents are you going to be able to sign?
Tennessee’s defense wasn’t exactly stout last year and last I looked, they could have used Mario Williams more. They should have kept pursuing Williams instead of breaking off the contract negotiations to pursue Manning. The point that everyone is missing is that when Peyton was getting those Colts teams out to big leads, they had pass rushers like Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis to put serious heat on quarterbacks.
And what pass rushers do the Titans have that could put consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks? They could also use a veteran linebacker. The Titans addressed their interior line issues by signing veteran offensive guard Steve Hutchinson, but they still need additional help in their interior offensive line.
Another reason that Manning to Tennessee doesn’t make football sense is that this offense already has a pretty good quarterback situation with Hasselbeck and youngster Jake Locker. Why would you add to a spot on your team that already is a point of strength? Just doesn’t make sense to me.
Peyton is also wanted in Denver. Broncos team president John Elway and head coach John Fox have been in the running for Manning from the start. The Broncos definitely have the cap room to add him ($27 million under the cap). But there’s one thing that the Titans don’t have that the Broncos do: defense.
The Broncos defense played better and better as the season went on last year. Defensive players like rookie linebacker Von Miller and cornerback Champ Bailey were not credited for their success in the way that Tebow was for his comeback ability. If you add Manning to the equation in the Mile High City, then you have a quarterback who will make guys like wide receivers Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas even better and take the running game to next level.
And with the division that the Broncos are in, they would by far be the best team in that division and be extremely dangerous. Of course, the downside for some fans would be no Tebow. But the good thing is that Tebow will get to study and learn from one of the best in the game at the quarterback position.
These two teams seem to be the leading choices for Manning but they both need to realize that Peyton may never be Peyton again. He still is recovering from the multiple neck surgeries he had last year and the nerves that affect his throwing arm haven’t completely regenerated. But Manning is a great quarterback that is very capable of carrying teams. It’s just a preference of which team he feels most comfortable with.
If this was my choice and I was Manning, I would take my talents to the Mile High City. Sure, it’s always good to come back to a play where you are loved, but it’s more about winning for Manning and in Denver, his chances and the makeup of that team presents a better chance for him to add to his legacy if he’s healthy.
What are your thoughts? If you were Manning and you were choosing between these two teams to play for, who would you play for and why?
If you have any sports questions or need some sports information, feel free to contact me on Twitter (@General_MP).
*Please note: The content and opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of, nor are they endorsed by FreesWorld.com.