February 28, 2012
3 NFL Teams That Would Take Peyton Manning, Reggie Wayne as Package Deal
Quarterback Peyton Manning has long been known to have something like a telepathic connection with his top receivers.
According to Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, Manning wants to bring one of his top brain-wave connections with him if he’s forced out of Indianapolis by the March 8th deadline for his $28 million roster bonus to kick in.
King wrote on Tuesday that Manning “loves familiarity, particularly in how his receivers anticipate throws and the precision of their route-running,” and that soon-to-be free agent receiver Reggie Wayne “is very interested in the combo platter also.”
As King points out, pairing the two together makes a lot of sense for any team wanting to acquire Manning. Adding Wayne first would entice Manning to give that team a serious thought, as the familiarity with Wayne would make a transition to a new NFL city that much easier.
The move for Wayne also is beneficial, as he’s caught 787 of 862 career catches from Manning in Indianapolis. He’d know exactly what he was getting into by hitching onto Manning’s potential free-agent wagon.
King mentioned six teams (Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks, Washington Redskins, Arizona Cardinals, Kansas City Chiefs) that could be interested in a Manning-Wayne combo deal.
Let’s quickly run down the three best fits out of the six he mentioned.
At this point in the process, Miami has been identified as the leader in the clubhouse for Manning if he’s released. Wayne played his college ball at the University of Miami (FL), so there’s a connection there for Manning’s running mate, too.
Brandon Marshall as the X receiver, Reggie Wayne the Z and Davone Bess as Y (slot) would make a solid trio for Manning. Also, the Dolphins could then use the No. 8 overall pick to pick a right tackle who can help solidify the protection for the aging quarterback.
No team has a bigger combination of needs than the Redskins do at quarterback and receiver. That simple reality makes the Redskins an ideal destination on paper for the Colts duo.
Washington would also be able to use their 2012 draft to fill in the other areas on the roster that need help while still building around the two or three years they may get out of Manning and Wayne.
The best route for the Redskins is likely to go younger at each position and build through the draft, but never underestimate what this organization is capable of on the open market.
New York Jets
I hate this fit for so many reasons, but we’ve seen the Jets make a crazy move for a disgruntled quarterback before. Can you imagine if Brett Favre could have brought Donald Driver with him to New York back in 2008?
The Jets would really have to clear some cap room to fit both Manning and Wayne, however, and I’m not sure a Manning-Rex Ryan combination would work on any level. Chances of Manning landing in New York remain remote.
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