Now that Peyton Manning is set to become a free agent, it’s time the rumour machine start churning.Miami, Seattle, Arizona, Washington, and the New York Jets are seen as the early favourites. While a slew of other teams will probably also jump into the rumour mill soon.
But Peyton would be incredibly stupid if he didn’t sign with the Miami Dolphins.
First and foremost, there’s familiarity with the area: Peyton and his family own a condo in South Florida.
As far as on the field, there are plenty of positives.
- His blindside would be protected very well with four-time Pro Bowler Jake Long lining up at left tackle.
- Brandon Marshall is still a premier receiver who would easily have a career year with Manning throwing bombs his way.
- One of his favourite targets from his Colts days, wide receiver Reggie Wayne, could even be brought along to line up on the other side.
- Davone Bess and Brian Hartline are also good #3 and #4 options.
- Tight end Anthony Fasano has all the tools to become an elite pass catcher if the right quarterback is there.
- The Dolphins running game was solid in 2011, with Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas combining for more than 1,600 yards. Imagine what a back with receiver like speed and skills like Bush could do with Manning under centre. USC flashbacks, anyone?
- The defence was better than you think, giving up the sixth fewest points and third fewest rushing yards in the league.
- Don’t let Miami’s 0-7 start fool you, they were much more competitive than you think. The Dolphins closed the season with a 6-3 run and played competitively in their three games against Super Bowl teams New England and New York.
And for what it’s worth, Vegas installed the Dolphins as the early favourites a month ago.
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