The buzz around the NFL is the Redskins are on the very short list of teams that might land Peyton Manning after his anticipated release from the Colts sometime between now and March 8.
Is there something to this or is it just the usual chatter associating the Redskins with virtually every big name that hits the open market? And if there is some fire to accompany all of the smoke, would it be a good idea for the Redskins to strike a deal and put No. 18 in burgundy and gold?
Rich Tandler and Ryan O’Halloran debate these questions in this week’s edition of Point-Counterpoint.
Rich Tandler: I have no doubt there is something behind all of the Manning-to-D.C. talk. From the Redskins’ end, there is a long-standing need at quarterback and an owner who has given Mike Shanahan a stack of blank checks to do whatever he thinks he needs to do to fix the team. From Manning’s point of view, Shanahan is clearly the most-accomplished head coach from among the limited pool of teams who would be interested in his services. With Shanahan as his coach, John Elway won two Super Bowls in the last two years of his career and that is exactly what Manning wants to do. Certainly, there are obstacles to be worked out but none of them is insurmountable.
Ryan O’Halloran: Coach that Manning respects (check – even though Mike hasn’t made the playoffs in five years.); ability to have input in the offense (check – if not, that’s a non-starter); pieces around him to make success a better possibility (um, non-check). If Manning were smart, even if he hit the open market before free agency, he should wait until after the teams he’s interested in joining add some people to help him out. That’s the Redskins’ only chance. If he wants and they’re pro-active in the opening hours of free agency, maybe they can entice Peyton to sign here.
Tandler: I’m not sure if Manning will be able to pass a physical for a team until after at least the first couple weeks of free agency, so he will be able to see if the Redskins have been able to add any weapons to their arsenal. As the draft approaches, however, the Redskins’ window of being able to wait out Manning starts to close. If they don’t have a solution at quarterback going into the late April draft, they had better have one coming out of it. The same can be said of the Dolphins, Cardinals and any other team with a high need at quarterback. If Manning can throw by mid-April, he has a good chance of landing in Washington. If not, the Redskins will have to move on.
O’Halloran: A quick story, in October 2010, the Colts’ front office was seated by the Redskins’ beat writers in the press box. After Peyton picked apart things in the first half, I turned around and sighed. One guy’s response was – “Pretty [bleeping] good isn’t he?” And therein lies the Redskins’ quandary. We’ve talked about the Fred Davis risk-reward already this week, but that’s nothing compared to Manning. The potential reward, with the right personnel around him, would be well worth the risk. Shanahan’s biggest challenge is his Wait Time – go another direction and move on, or be patient.
You can reach Ryan O’Halloran by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can email Rich Tandler atRTandlerCSN@comcast.net . Follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanohalloran and follow Rich @Rich_Tandler.