Well, it certainly took long enough. Several days after it was said in this space that the mainstream media should be giving the Kansas City Chiefs serious thought as a potential suitor for Indianapolis Colts’ quarterback Peyton Manning, ESPN.com’s Bill Willliamson has finally stepped up and acknowledged that this is a good fit for both sides.
Williamson goes so far as to say that Kansas City would be the favorites to land Manning if he doesn’t receive the$28 million signing bonus he’s due from the Colts by next Thursday, March 8. If the Colts don’t pay him, Manning hits the open market. Now it’s no longer a question of who’s got the draft picks to deal, but who’s got the cap room to move. And per Williamson, the Chiefs have more than their competitors.
Not only is the money right, but Kansas City can offer what other suitors Miami or Washington cannot—a real chance to get back to the Super Bowl. The Chiefs were a 7-9 team last year without safety Eric Berry, tight end Tony Moeaki and running back Jamaal Charles. Just bringing this trio back makes them a playoff-caliber team and even a darkhorse Super Bowl shot if New England, Baltimore and Pittsburgh can’t get younger talent in place quickly. Put Manning into the equation and you can the darkhorse out of the description.
Joe Montana ended his Hall of Fame career in Kansas City and helped the Chiefs reach the AFC Championship Game in 1993, their most successfully postseason run in a very good era of winning under Marty Schottenheimer. Montana got them to the playoffs the following year. Manning can do at least that, and maybe a little bit more. It’s about time someone in the mainstream media took notice.