Reports: Arizona Cardinals are interested in Peyton Manning

By Kris Hughes

The past few seasons, the Arizona Cardinals have endured a revolving door at quarterback. Kurt Warner, Matt Leinart, Kevin Kolb and John Skelton have all taken snaps for a team that’s been flailing to find a productive presence behind center.

There’s one quarterback who could be on the open market during the 2012 off-season that has the Cardinals’ attention, however: first-ballot Hall-of-Famer and likely to be departing Indianapolis Colts QB Peyton Manning.

According to reports, the Cardinals have expressed interest in Manning, especially if it happens that Manning is released by the Colts prior to the March 13th NFL transaction deadline. If the Colts desire to move Manning, the only way they can do so is to release him outright prior to March 13th. After March 13th, the Colts could attempt to trade Manning, but receiving equal value given what remains on his back-loaded contract could be easier said than done.

Obviously, the Cardinals cannot express their interest directly to Peyton Manning given the league’s tampering rules, but there are plenty of ways to show interest indirectly to get the point across to Manning and get the ball rolling with the Colts’ front office.

If Manning were to land in Phoenix, there would be plenty of weapons for him to work with, including All-Pro Larry Fitzgerald and the emerging threat, Early Doucet. The Cardinals could quickly become a competitor again not only in the NFC West, but the NFC as a whole if they can somehow convince Manning to play at least one season under the dome at University of Phoenix Stadium.

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