The Seahawks have been mentioned by several media outlets in connection to having interest in Peyton Manning, should Manning be released by Indianapolis before his March 8th bonus deadline. Today a cbssports.com article explains that the Seahawks may potentially be the leading candidate to land Manning if he is released. Everyone who knows about the Peyton Manning/Colts dilemma understands the potential high risk/high reward that would come with another team signing him. Here are my pros and cons that the Seahawks and the 12th Man should know about if we pursue Peyton Manning this offseason.
Peyton Manning is better than Tarvaris Jackson: Okay I know this is an obvious statement but think about it for a little while. If the Seahawks sign Peyton Manning we would not be getting the same Peyton Manning who broke the single-season passing record or the Peyton Manning that led the Colts to a championship in 2006. However, I believe that if Manning can get his velosity up on his throws to be able to perform well in a game, a diminished Manning is still better than a healthy Tarvaris Jackson. Also, Mike Florio of profootballtalk.com said in a radio interview on Friday that Manning “still has 100 percent of his brain.” Manning’s decision-making I believe would be an upgrade to the decisions Jackson made in certain situations last year. Peyton Manning is a smarter quarterback and has the ability to make the other ten guys on offense around him better. Going off of this last point….
We have the offensive weapons to be explosive with Peyton Manning: A lot of people including myself looked at our offense last season and said we are going to be real good as soon as we can get a decent quarterback. Let me drop some names real quick; Sidney Rice, Mike Williams, Ben Obomanu, Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin, and Zach Miller. Rice and Miller specifically are former pro bowlers who signed big contracts last offseason. Many believe in Rice’s case that he got his big money because of the season he had in 2009 with Brett Favre in Minnesota. Superstar quarterbacks can turn ordinarially talented receivers into superstar playmakers. Imagine what our offense would look like with Peyton Manning instead of Jackson. I think with Manning at the helm both Rice and Miller could be heading back to the pro bowl in 2012.
Veteran Leadership and Mentoring: Matt Hasselbeck was one of the best leaders the Seahawks have ever had. Peyton Manning may be next coming of Hasselbeck’s leadership in Seattle. Manning was a perennial captain with the Colts. His knowledge and understanding of the game would have a great effect on this young Seahawks team. The lessons he could teach this team I believe would be a great benefit for future seasons; lessons that could not otherwise be taught if Manning was not a Seahawk. Hypothetically if the Seahawks were to bring in Manning for the present and we aquire a young quarterback for the future, do you truly believe there is anybody better to have that young quarterback sitting under and learning from then Peyton Manning?……. I didn’t think so.
Health: Most of these cons are pretty obvious but bear with me. There is a chance that Manning’s arm strength will not be up to his or any other team’s standards come training camp. If this is the case you potentially lose the chemistry with your backup quarterback (most likely Jackson) and you could set the team back an additional year or so in regards to signing or drafting your future solution at quarterback.
Cost: I have no idea what kind of money Peyton Manning will ask for if he becomes a free agent but I can guarantee you it won’t be the $4 million that Tarvaris Jackson is making this year, or even the $5 million Charlie Whitehurst made last year. The Seahawks have the most cap space of any team this offseason so investing in Peyton Manning may not be a total burden, but if he is asking for too much the Seahawks will not spend. I think John Schneider knows the ballpark number he would be willing to spend on Manning and if the price is too high, I believe he would know better than to go all in on him. If Manning’s price tag is reasonable to the Seahawks standards, there is a good chance he may land here, but I am not expecting this to be the case to be honest. This may be the biggest hurdle to signing Manning.
Could Manning be the Next Favre?: Brett Favre played two seasons in Minnesota. In year one the Vikings came within a minute of winning the NFC championship. In year two, Favre got hurt and the Vikings finished 6-10. I think the Vikings are still recovering from the Favre era; they invested in Christian Ponder to be the quarterback of the future and they are picking 3rd in this year’s draft. The Seahawks are doing a great job in building this team to be a consistent winner and the thought of Manning being the next Favre is a scary proposition. If we sign Manning and things do not work out, then we have wasted this construction effort by the front office and we could potentially be set back for many seasons to come. If this is a realistic possibility, which it could be, I don’t think it is worth taking the risk.
At this point I am uncertain whether I would want the Seahawks to bring in Manning. Like I said earlier, it’s high risk/high reward. If the Seahawks were to bring in Manning I would fully expect they will have done their homework to make sure they are not going to be spending money on a guy who may not be able to get the job done anymore.