The Peyton Manning Sweepstakes have begun. There are a lot of teams that are very interested in having this neck-injured brother of a two-time Super Bowl MVP who hasn't played football in a year. He's going to get a lot of money, and might have a big impact on whatever team he goes to, assuming he can still move his arms in a throwing motion.
Where will Peyton Manning end up? Where should he? Here's our breakdown of each team's needs and chances.
Miami Dolphins: Peyton would fit in well with Miami's Dan Marino, who was also a really great regular season quarterback. He would also fit in with the city's recent tradition and paying a shitload of money for great players and having mediocre-to-bad players filling out the rest of the team. Change of Peyton (COP): High.
Buffalo Bills: A team in desperate need of a quarterback who spends more time being good at football and less time growing a beard. However, Buffalo is a cold city and the Bills probably can't afford to build a roof on their stadium to appease Peyton's (possible) outrageous but completely acceptable demands for warmth. COP: Low
New York Jets: They have a quarterback that nobody really likes, but I doubt they'll give up on him yet. Between being on the divisional rivals of Tom Brady and playing in the same city as Eli, this would be the most hyped situation in the history of sports. Inevitably, the Jets would miss the playoffs. COP: Low
New England Patriots: They already have a pretty good quarterback. Maybe he could play defense? COP: Non-existent
Jacksonville Jaguars: I sometimes forget they are still a team. They could probably use a good player, but I just have a hard time believing that the Jags could or will ever have a superstar. I just can't picture ESPN covering a Jacksonville player. COP: Medium
Tennessee Titans: Their screwed up quarterback situation for the passed three or four years was apparently all in preparation for Manning to become a free agent. Suddenly the Titans look like geniuses when it comes to team management. COP: High-ish
Houston Texans: Peyton Manning would never go to the Texans because he had some of his best games ever against them. He doesn't want to join the one team he can beat up on. COP: Low
Indianapolis Colts: They could use a quarterback, for sure. Oh... oh right. I suppose their plan could be this: Release Peyton, he signs with another team, then they trade the number 1 draft pick for Peyton plus some other players. That's not completely out of the question, right? COP: Extraordinarily minimal
Pittsburgh Steelers: Their quarterback is among the top in the NFL, but he is a sexual predator. Perhaps they should consider getting good-guy Peyton to replace him. COP: Non-existent
Cleveland Browns: Nobody wants to go to Cleveland. COP: Low
Cincinnati Bengals: I doubt the Bengals will want to slow the progress of their rising QB star, what's-his-name. They'll want to focus on building for the long-term. Which is foolish, because they could probably win a Super Bowl with Manning. COP: Medium.
Baltimore Ravens: They are going to stick with Flacco, and stick with winning one or two playoff games per year. COP: Low
Denver Broncos: They can finally shift Tim Tebow to running back and do some sick-ass wildcat trick plays. Unlikely, but imagine Peyton Manning throwing in that thin air every week. Also, the Broncos and Colts are both horses, so maybe he'll feel comfortable there. COP: Medium
Kansas City Chiefs: A guy once looked at Peyton Manning funny in Kansas City. For that reason, COP: Negative infinity
Oakland Raiders: If only Al Davis were alive to somehow make signing Peyton Manning a bust. If Peyton goes to Oakland, Carson Palmer is going to wish he stayed in Cincinnati. COP: Medium
San Diego Chargers: They've got one of the best quarterbacks at throwing for a lot of yards and losing games in the history of the league. They probably don't mind losing all that much. COP: Non-existent
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The cities of Tampa and Indianapolis are so similar in that I don't care about either. They are both cities that nobody would know exists if they didn't have sports teams. It's a great fit. COP: High
New Orleans Saints: These guys play dirty, so he should probably go there so he doesn't get hurt again. COP: Non-existent
Atlanta Falcons: Atlanta fans like their self-nick-naming Matty Ice. I have no clue why. COP: Very low
Carolina Panthers: They just got the number 1 pick last year, and he wasn't a bust. But is he better than Peyton Manning? COP: Very low
Dallas Cowboys: Tony Romo sucks. They haven't won a playoff game since Emmitt Smith was a player (I think, I don't feel like fact-checking). But Jerry Jones doesn't care. COP: Non-existent
Philadelphia Eagles: Michael Vick and Peyton Manning would be a hilarious odd-couple of quarterbacks. If the Eagles are more interested in a reality show than winning games, this could work. COP: Low
Washington Redskins: The perfect level of under-performing receivers and useless current quarterback. This could be a great fit. Imagine if you put a bet down two years ago that the Redskins would win the NFC East. You could be a millionaire if Peyton Manning goes to D.C. COP: High
NY Giants: Let's face it: Eli Manning just isn't getting it done. But don't make fans buy new jerseys; have Peyton replace him. COP: Non-existent.
Chicago Bears: They focus more on defense, so they probably don't even know Peyton is a free agent. COP: Low.
Detroit Lions: They have the next Peyton Manning, so the old one will be of no use. COP: Non-existent.
Minnesota Vikings: Like the Titans, they have messed up their quarterback situation so much that there is a huge opening for Peyton. But he has some self-respect. COP: Low-Medium.
Green Bay Packers: Though it would mean dumping Rodgers before/during his prime, getting Peyton would at least mean the Packers' streak of great quarterbacks will go up to 3. COP: Non-existent
St. Louis Rams: They have a good young quarterback and a terrible team. They'll be stuck rebuilding for the next decade. COP: Low
Arizona Cardinals: The Cards were a great surprise team a few years ago, but now aren't very good. A great fit! COP: Medium-High
Seattle Seahawks: If they can win half their games without Peyton Manning, they could win them all with him! COP: Medium
San Francisco 49ers: They proved that you can have the worst quarterback in the league and still get the 2 seed and win a playoff game. They also proved that no quarterback in the world can win when your punt-returner muffs two returns. Peyton won't be interested in having his efforts hang in the balance of butterfingers' arms. COP: Non-existent.