The One Time Everyone Liked Peyton Manning.
As the most beloved and ballyhooed prospect to come out of TCU since LaDainian Tomlinson, we all have a heightened sense of interest where Red will end up playing football professionally. So rather than make you all dig through the muck and mire that are sports related internet rumors, we will compile them all here, team by team, as they come along. For the sake of brevity, we will only feature team's that have scheduled an interview or workout with Andy, look at their current QB situation and draft picks and make one of our patented hasty assessments from there. We will also give more credence to team's with picks in the 2-4 rounds (amendment: 1-3 rounds, because that's looking more and more likely) because we're optimistic and can't see Dalton lasting beyond there.
Today we'll take a look at another potential landing spot that would have Dalton surrounded by the fattest fan base in the NFL, the Indianapolis Colts.
QBs Currently on Roster: Curtis Painter and Peyton Manning.
Draft Picks: Round 1 (22); Round 2 (21); Round 3 (21).
Why Rooster Fits: BECAUSE ADAM SCHEFTER SAID SO! But really, it's not just Schefter as this one has been gaining some steam in the rumor mill these past week or so. Basically, with the clock striking 35 on Peyton Manning, the Colts have started taking a cold, hard look towards the future of the franchise, sans ole fetus head, and with only Curtis Painter on the roster it's bleak. Seriously, have you seen Curtis Painter play? To paraphrase Dude, Where's My Car, a trained dolphin could play football better than him. As Jim Sorgi learned before him, being Peyton Manning's backup is the best and worst job in the NFL. Best because you get paid to do pretty much nothing, but worst because the Colts are notorious for resting starters towards the end of the year, so you're inevitably getting thrown to the fire at some point and without much practice the results are typically bad. So basically, if Manning were to retire tomorrow, the Colts would be mega screwed. So why not groom a worthy predecessor, one who may not have the collegiate accolades and hype that Manning had coming out of Tennesee, but a strong character guy with great leadership abilities? Dalton would practically be Manning part deux, except hopefully with the ability to not choke is big game situations. He would immediately become Manning's back up and would be in a pretty nice situation where he wouldn't be expected to contribute at all his rookie year and probably the one after that. Plus, unlike Brady, Manning strikes me as a guy who, with his career winding down a bit, would be willing to give a pointer or two to his replacement and help ease the transition. Call me crazy, but this doesn't sound all that bad.
Why Rooster Doesn't Fit: Basically you have to decide if Manning sees himself as the next Brett Favre or not. If he is, then Dalton would probably be better off elsewhere because that'd mean Manning would have at least 5 more seasons of starting in him. The thing that worries me is that Manning is excepted to negotiate his final contract once the lockout ends, and I have a feeling a home town discount isn't in order as it never is. If he signs, say, a 5 year deal worth $100 million plus, why is he going to walk away from that? And why would he help his successor which would essentially usher himself out the door? Quite honestly, I have no idea what he's thinking, but at the same time you have to think that any QB in the league nowadays looks at the joke Brett Favre became once he left Green Bay and swears he'll never end up that way. I can't see Manning being a guy who would go play in Oakland or somewhere like that just to prolong his career. At the same time, I'm not sure the Colts are dumb enough to handcuff themselves to an aging QB into his 40s, either. Truthfully, there have been enough rumblings with the Colts to make it seem like they're giving Andy some serious consideration. Regardless if they see him as the QB of the future or not, they need a better option at backup and Dalton would clearly fit that mold for the time being.