Did Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach Andy Reid Want the Team to Sign Free Agent QB Peyton Manning?

By Bryn Swartz

Reports surfaced from Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times a few days ago that the Philadelphia Eagles wanted to jump in on the sweepstakes for prized free agent quarterback Peyton Manning but the “talks never got too serious” because the quarterback did not want to face his brother (and two-time Super Bowl MVP) twice a season.

The Eagles acknowledged the report, saying that they look into everything, but head coach Andy Reid said that Michael Vick is the quarterback for the Eagles and that’s not the direction that the Eagles were heading in.

So is this true? Did the Eagles badly want to sign Manning? Or did they merely “look into the situation” as the team stated?

First of all, it’s no surprise that the Eagles are basically all-in this season. After a brutal 8-8 season that almost resulted in owner Jeffrey Lurie firing Reid after the season, or so he claims, the Eagles need to win in 2012 or Reid’s contract almost certainly won’t be renewed for the 2013 season.

And they need to win more than 11 games and one playoff game. They need a deep postseason run, possibly a Super Bowl championship, to save the job of Reid.

I can’t think of a better quarterback to get the job done than Peyton Manning, a four-time Most Valuable Player and a former Super Bowl MVP. No offense to Michael Vick, but he’s not exactly in the elite category of quarterbacks in the NFL. He’s good, probably even very good (when he’s healthy), but he’s not good enough that the Eagles wouldn’t consider upgrading if they had the opportunity.

Quarterback is the most important position on an NFL team. 2012 will be the most important year for the Eagles in a very long time.

So what’s not to believe about the Eagles wanting Manning as their quarterback next season?

I believe it. Absolutely.

If you get the chance to have Peyton Manning as your quarterback, you’re going to take it every time.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the Eagles had offered Manning more money than any other team. After all, they’re always one of the top teams in terms of cap space and they did sign five Pro Bowlers (and trade for a sixth) last season.

Money is not a weakness for this team. The Eagles aren’t cheap when it comes to signing other players. Manning received $96 million over five years from the Denver Broncos and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the Eagles offered more money.

But I also don’t think Manning was going to go to the NFC East, not under any circumstances, so I think it’s both accurate and inaccurate that “talks never got too serious.”

I believe that the Eagles badly wanted Manning but I think they knew they didn’t have much of a chance going into the sweepstakes.

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