One of the biggest stories of the NFL off-season is already the Peyton Manning saga.
With plenty of back and forth battles between Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay and Manning, one has to wonder about the future of the quarterback. Should he stay with Indianapolis, a team that is expected to draft top college prospect quarterback Andrew Luck? Or should Manning move on to another home in the NFL, somewhere he can be the man and the only man?
Regardless of the decision of Manning (which doesn’t have to be made yet), there are plenty of reports surfacing already that discuss potential landing spots for the soon-to-be 36 year old signal-caller. One of those teams is the Miami Dolphins. Should the Dolphins make a play for Manning?
The talent level that Peyton Manning possesses is undeniable as he is a Super Bowl Champion, Super Bowl MVP and four-time NFL MVP. He’s been elected to the Pro Bowl 11 times and has consistently led the Colts to 10-win seasons 11 of 13 times. However, after suffering an injury that kept him out last season and has altered his throwing, the questions on Manning could prevent him from being the same quarterback he has been.
There are contradicting reports coming out from multiple sources that say Peyton is both improving and throwing steadily or that he is completely lacking the arm strength that he once had. The latter reports also state that Manning is having a hard time throwing to his left and getting velocity on his throws past 25 yards.
For a team in need of a quarterback, those are troubling thoughts.
For Miami, it leads one to believe that the evaluation process of Manning will be a very cautious one. The question, however, is whether or not the Dolphins should sign Manning?
The signing of Manning would present both pros and cons for the Dolphins, who are coming off a 6-10 season that resulted in the firing of head coach Tony Sparano. Of course, assuming that Manning is healthy, the signing would be a great way for the Dolphins to push towards the next level and into the playoffs. Manning has proven that he can play the game and lead teams to Super Bowls and win them, there is no denying that.
However, is he healthy?
A risk on Manning when he is not completely healthy could potentially set back the Dolphins as well. Current quarterback Matt Moore played well down the stretch for the Dolphins who started off the season losing seven straight games. Signing Manning effectively shows less confidence in Moore, which could hurt that relationship.
The potential signing of Peyton could also alter the future should the Dolphins and new head coach Joe Philbin decide not to use a draft pick on a quarterback this year. This could prove problematic should Manning get hurt again, or retire within the next few years.
Regardless, it looks as though the Dolphins will be adding a new quarterback at some point going into next season whether it be Manning, Matt Flynn (who worked under Philbin in Green Bay), or a rookie draft pick. At this point, it appears the Dolphins will be at the center of the quarterback whirlwind this off-season.
By Brandon Williams
Brandon Williams is a freelance writer and currently the lead blogger at Sports Reviews. He is a member of the Football Writers Association of America.