I'll be honest with you. I am pretty much done with all the fuss surrounding Peyton Manning at the moment. I understand that a lot of it is not his fault, and he is the biggest free agent name out there at the moment; but did I read that ESPN even had a helicopter following Manning's car earlier this week?
What bothers me about all this frenzy surrounding Manning is the fact that everyone seems to assume that he'll be the starting quarterback for whichever team he decides to sign with.
Is it crazy of me to think that he should at least earn that right? Perhaps a good old training camp battle to win the job is in order. And yes, as I was reminded earlier on twitter, Manning is a future hall of fame quarterback. And that surely must be reason enough for him to assume the role of number one QB for his new team, right?
As it stands currently, there are three teams left in the running for Manning. The Tennessee Titans, along with the Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers have emerged as the top contenders vying for Manning's services.
Current 49ers quarterback Alex Smith has recently been visiting with the Miami Dolphins and is expected to touch base with the Seahawks as well. Perhaps Smith realizes he has no chance of leading the 49ers this year if Manning joins the team. The same Alex Smith that lead his team to a a conference championship last year now finds himself unable to come to terms and is forced to look elsewhere for employment.
The Titans had Matt Hasselbeck throwing the ball around last year, and while he is as much a long term solution as Manning is, he is still the number one QB on the team as far as I am aware. The Titans also have Jake Locker on the squad, who is coming off his rookie year. Would Manning be brought in to possibly nurture Locker and help him grow into the type of player that the Titans obviously hope he can become? I doubt it. Manning would probably waltz in and it would be Locker who would be forced to warm the bench.
And what of the Broncos? What on earth happens to Tim Tebow if Manning lands in Denver? I'll tell you what happens. He'll probably end up catching passes from Manning as one of the Broncos' leading receivers. Brady Quinn, who backed up Tebow last year has already signed with the Kansas City Chiefs, again perhaps indicating that he has no intention of staying with a team he has no chance of leading.
I know I am being a touch cynical in all of this. Manning's days as a starting QB are coming to an end, but he and many analysts around the league clearly feel he has much to offer a team, at least for a season or two. Any team would be crazy to pass on a chance of signing to man who did such great things in Indianapolis.
And while I agree with this sentiment, I just find it irritating that everyone thinks it's a foregone conclusion that Manning will be the starting quarterback for his next team.
I hope that whichever team he ends up signing for gives Manning the chance to be the number one, and doesn't just hand him the opportunity as if he has some natural right to take it.