The Miami Dolphins had Peyton Manning an hour away for two days after he was released from the Colts. A phone could have been picked up, an arrangement could have been made, a visit could have been set up. Instead, nothing. Now that is not to say that they didn’t actually pick up the phone and talk with Manning or his agent, they very well may have. We will of course never know. Right now, Manning is still in Denver it is believed and his next stop will be Arizona and the Cardinals. That is if he leaves Denver at all.
The question is, does Miami really have serious interest in Manning?
It’s a fair question as we have never once heard Stephen Ross say that he wanted Manning and let’s face it, had he wanted Manning, he would have likely been busted for trying to get him into the Davie complex when Manning arrived in South Florida. We have never heard Jeff Ireland say the team was going to go strong after Peyton Manning. In fact the closest we came to seeing something that resembled it was a phone call he took at the FIU pro-day when he took off a short time after hanging up.
The reality is that the only one’s speaking about Manning, are us. The media. Whether it’s bloggers, amateur writers, local beat writers, or national writers. Most information is from “sources” that have knowledge of the situation or more likely the fact that Miami would be stupid not to pursue Manning. There is off-shore betting going on as to where Manning will land and there is Las Vegas odds on the subject as well. Early on, Miami was a 2-1 favorite to land the QB.
Still, who are these sources and why haven’t we heard the Dolphins making a serious push to get the guy they apparently so desperately want? Can we assume that Stephen Ross has finally learned his lesson about opening his mouth at the wrong time on the wrong subjects? Let’s be real here, there was no question that Ross went hard for Jeff Fisher and he went hard at Jim Harbaugh. If Manning really is his favorite then why did he not go hard after Manning? He hardly comes off as someone willing to take the back-seat approach.
I am fairly certain without pulling out my phone and calling contacts, that the Dolphins do have genuine interest in Manning. I do however question the degree as it has been posed on so many sites, newspapers, and national media forums. I just haven’t seen enough to agree with what is being said. If it’s all true, then I am very surprised that Ross and the Dolphins are taking such a low key approach to the “wooing”.
Something to me just doesn’t seem to fit. Has Manning told the Dolphins that he is very interested in joining the team but simply wants to make the rounds? Has he told them that he has no interest in the team and they simply could care less who knows that at this point? It’s all conjecture and really nothing more than a different observation on the subject but there could be something to it. Something small, who knows.
The Dolphins have never really been that team to jump on the big name guy and risk doing long term damage to the franchise’s future. At least under Jeff Ireland. I believe that is the reason that despite the supposed love affair with RGIII, Ireland realized that he was putting too much into one player and simply wasn’t going to pay that. Last year they decided that Kyle Orton wasn’t worth a second round pick or the money he was asking for. So they passed.
Manning of course is far from either. He is elite. Elite in every sense of the word. But he will cost quite a bit of money and if you believe the reports that you would almost have to sign his fellow ex-Colts you have to start wondering what you are truly sacrificing on your team with that decision. After all, Manning, Saturday, Wayne, and Clark all have about a three year window. If that. Do you put up the money, trim the roster salaries, immediately get older, for a simple shot at filling seats? Manning does not guarantee a Super Bowl appearance.
Some will argue that I am giving Ross and Ireland too much credit for forward thinking here but what you can save and do with the money you spend on Manning and Co. can go a long way to ensuring that your team is at least built for a future that would compete for division titles, playoff victories, and maybe a trip to the Super Bowl. I mean, I see Joe Philbin and Mike Sherman and I see two guys who helped shape and build a winning franchise in GB.
To me, I would be on board with Manning. Who wouldn’t? As a fan it would be fun to see the stadium packed with a raucous cheering crowd filled to capacity. It would be exciting to see Manning twisting and turning his hands to change the play in a fever type pitch. However, I would also be excited to see what Matt Flynn would do in Joe Philbin and Mike Sherman’s offense. Or what a Ryan Tannehill would do for the franchise being a number 1 selection.
I would also love to see where the money that the Dolphins save by not signing Manning, Wayne, Saturday, and Clark would be used. Could the Dolphins make a run at Carl Nicks? Mario Williams? Could they realistically add more than a Flynn and Reggie Nelson to their roster? Would a “West Coast” offense that grows along with a rookie QB or a guy like Flynn gel early with the addition of Reggie Bush?
There are a lot of questions that need answers and just as many holes on the Dolphins to fill. Do we really want to take one of the best young offensive centers and move him to guard to make room for a guy who will play two more years? Do we want to cut ties with one of our receivers to make room for Reggie Wayne who will be retired in less than five years from now?
As I said, I’m all for Manning but there is a degree of uncertainty that flows not from his ability to throw the football but the fact that the Dolphins, who had him at an arms length, chose to wait instead of playing the normal Stephen Ross method of operation by attacking him first. Some believe that Ross and Ireland are simply biding their time and will sit with Manning last. They hold the idea that by going last they can secure his services by outbidding the teams before them. That may not be the case. Nothing says that Manning can’t pick up the phone and tell Denver that Ross made a bigger financial offer.
Manning wants his decision to be made by Tuesday so that his new team can work on getting him the pieces he needs in free agency. Seems that time frame is a little unrealistic and doesn’t really give the Dolphins the time they would need to head into free agency without Manning. I’m sure that all of the media are correct and that their sources are 100 percent correct as well. The Dolphins and Stephen Ross are in love with Manning and he is priority number 1. I’m just not sold that they believe he is the only one.