Wednesday, November 16, 2011
With no Luck, could Dolphins be waitin' for Peyton (Manning)?
Dave Hyde - Sun Sentinel
Here's my only problem with being out front on this: Nothing snappy rhymes with Manning.
Suck-for-Luck is one of the greatest catchphrases in sports history, because it explains everything in a staccato-burst of syllables. What do you do for Peyton Manning? "Planning for Manning?" "Scanning for Manning?"
Everyone knows we're watching the Indianapolis Colts have the greatest, awful season in NFL history, starting 0-10, getting outscored 137-27 their past four games and losing so impressively they've won Andrew Luck already.
This begs the question the Dolphins surely are interested in: Doesn't Indianapolis have to shove Manning aside like rotten cabbage?
Indianapolis General Manager Bill Polian said Monday the Colts "might draft a quarterback" with their top pick — like the sun might rise in the East – and that Manning was "on board" with this. So Polian is trying to talk nice.
There's no place for Manning on a rebuilding team with a boy king, though. Polian knows that. Manning knows it. And to underline the fact is how Indianapolis must pay Manning$28 million if it keeps him this offseason.
So are you "Tanning for Manning?"
Because of all the questions as the Dolphins try to rebuild the Republic, Manning could prove the most tempting one. And if this mini-winning streak provides enough ballast to take the Dolphins out of the upper tier of draft picks, it might prove the most practical one.
Oh, he's hurt. He's 35. He's expensive. His over-under is two years to his career, assuming there's an over at all. Maybe he's done. Maybe his neck never heals well enough to play again.
But he's healed, wouldn't you take two years of Manning?
Or would you watch the New York Jets grab him instead?
The trade price shouldn't be prohibitive. Indianapolis needs to part on good terms. Polian might be dumb enough to field an 0-16 team. He's not dumb enough to bum-rush Manning out of town to a team the legend doesn't want to play for.
The Jets got Favre for a third-round pick. That sounds about right for Manning considering the Colts' issue and his new team's gamble.
Sure, the Dolphins need to find a young quarterback for the future. That story hasn't changed since Dan Marino. But considering Luck is off the table and the Dolphins could play themselves beyond the next couple of prospects, aren't we back to the same old-young formula?
Only the old option here isn't Trent Green. It's a better Chad Pennington. It's the guy who can lift your team into contention (assuming he's healthy), put fans in the seats (assuming he's healthy) and give your young player time to learn (still assuming he's healthy).
Aging legends can have success in new markets. Joe Montanatook Kansas City to the AFC Championship Game. Brett Favrethrew 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions in taking Minnesota to the NFC Championship Game.
Remember, Pennington took the Dolphins to the playoffs in 2008. That allowed Chad Henne to sit for a year, which is best for most young quarterbacks. This Dolphins lineup has a lot of problems. But there's nothing so completely wrong that a smart offseason and a top-three quarterback wouldn't throw them into contention.
The Jets might be the problem if Mark Sanchez doesn't take a step forward. Their coaching staff and front office are secure. Plus, Manning always has his eye on tomorrow. The media glitz wouldn't hurt his plans, nor would headlines opposite brother Eli, like "Is this town big enough for two Mannings?"
It's still November. There's still a lot of football to be played and planets to be aligned. But this should be one of those big-picture schemes that isn't lost sight of as everything plays out.
Indianapolis is so awful no one else has a shot at the No. 1 pick. But some good can still come out a Dolphins season that might drift north to merely a bad one.
Waitin' for Peyton?
There's rhyme and reason to that idea.
Posted by Tiger Hebert at 10:10 AM