Peyton Manning Playing for Another Team in 2012? Bet on It!
by Alan Matthews - 2/2/2012
You knew it was inevitable, but unfortunately a player who didn’t even suit up this year is stealing most of the attention before Super Bowl XLVI.
And, of course, I mean Peyton Manning and his very tenuous future with the Colts – not to mention if he can even play again after sitting this season out due to another neck surgery.
The media’s feeding frenzy is no surprise, what with the Super Bowl being held in Indianapolis in a stadium that probably isn’t built without the success the Colts have had thanks to Manning (many this week have said the Colts would be in L.A. by now if not for Peyton). And Manning’s main rival, New England’s Tom Brady, is in the game as is his little brother, the Giants’ Eli Manning.
I don’t know about you, but I have Peyton Manning overload and am looking forward to kickoff Sunday so we can stop hearing about him. However, you can bet at Bovada on how many times Peyton is show on TV during the game, with the ‘over/under’ at 3.5. I like the under because it has to be a live shot and halftime or pregame/postgame don’t count.
There are reports that Manning and Colts owner Jim Irsay will talk next week once the Super Bowl circus leaves town. It’s not out of the question that the Colts cut Manning as early then, especially if Manning asks, and the free-agent frenzy would begin. However, it’s more likely the team will wait until around March 7 to make a decision. Why? Manning is due a $28 million roster bonus on March 8. If the Colts don’t pay it, Manning is an unrestricted free agent. Peyton has said he had no plans to move that deadline back, but Irsay said it’s still a possibility.
WagerWeb has released a few props on Manning’s future. Let’s take a look.
What will happen to Manning?
He will remain with Colts: +100
He will play for another team: -120
He will retire: +200
Go ahead and throw away that first option – with Andrew Luck coming, Manning isn’t going to be a Colt. Indy clearly is in full rebuild mode after completely gutting the front office and coaching staff. Manning says he plans to continue playing and that his rehab is going well. The problem is that Manning may not be ready to prove he’s 100 percent until April if not later. Yahoo! Sports reported this week, via sources, that he won’t play again. Still, Manning is working too hard to retire. I think he plays for another team if at all possible.
And which team might it be? Here are WagerWeb’s options and a comment on each:
New York Jets (+200): Rex Ryan already has essentially said that he would be interested if Manning was available. Who wouldn’t? And the Jets could use Manning because Mark Sanchez seems to be regressing and may have lost some respect of players. But if the Jets sign Manning, that pretty much destroys Sanchez’s future with the team and he’s still young enough to have big upside. I could see the Jets cutting bait with Sanchez for Manning perhaps after the 2012 season but not before.
Washington Redskins (+300): This makes huge sense considering the Skins used Rex Grossman and John Beck last season. Washington probably will try to draft a quarterback in the first round this year – may trade up for Rams’ No. 2 overall pick – and could let said player sit for a year or two behind Manning. And you know owner Dan Snyder likes to make a splash every offseason. Manning could also help save the job of Coach Mike Shanahan, who might be out with one more losing season. But Washington doesn’t have many weapons on offense and a bad offensive line. Plus, Peyton would have to face his brother twice a year.
Miami Dolphins (+400): The Fins also are in dire need of a quarterback, but I think they lure Packers free agent Matt Flynn. Remember that Miami hired former Green Bay offensive coordinator Joe Philbin as its new head coach. And current Dolphin Matt Moore actually wasn’t all that bad last year. Maybe the Fins tie the Texans for the NFL lead in quarterbacks named Matt next season.
Seattle Seahawks (+500): Another team in desperate need of a quarterback with the Tarvaris Jackson experiment clearly having failed. Manning will want to play for a winner and the Seahawks have a franchise-type running back in Marshawn Lynch as well as a rising defense. Seattle finished this season strong and plays in a winnable division – no offense to the San Francisco 49ers.
Arizona Cardinals (+600): They also play in the very winnable NFC West and have a franchise receiver in Larry Fitzgerald. Plus, no weather concerns like in Seattle. But are the Cards really ready to give up on Kevin Kolb after paying a steep price for him and giving Kolb a fat contract? I doubt it.
Baltimore Ravens (+700): I think Joe Flacco answered any questions with his great game in the AFC Championship against New England.
Houston Texans (+900): In a way, this is the best possible fit for Manning. Houston has a ton of offensive weapons and one of the NFL’s best defenses. The Texans might be a Super Bowl favorite with Manning under center. Sure, Houston has a good quarterback in Matt Schaub. However, he is coming off a serious foot injury. While reports are that he will be ready 100 percent come training camp, Schaub has missed 16 starts in 80 games as a Texan.
San Francisco 49ers (+1000): This is another great fit as the team appears ready to take the next step after coming up just short against the Giants in the NFC title game. But Jim Harbaugh has continually said he believes in Alex Smith – would he really bail now? Smith is a free agent but it’s expected the Niners will bring him back.
The key to betting this prop is that Manning will choose where he goes, not the other way around. So rule out any non-contenders like Washington. Thus, here is what I would do on these Manning props: Bet on him to retire but then also bet a long shot in case he does play. And in that scenario, go with Houston. Manning gets a shot at a second Super Bowl ring and also the chance to stick it to the division-rival Colts twice during the regular season.
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