ManningWatch 2012 IS Over: A Review

Posted: March 21, 2012 in ALL II
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Peyton Manning will join the Mile High Legacy (as sponsored by Sports Authority) with a 5yr/ $96 million dollar contract.  Broncos’ management did their due-diligence in structuring the contract with health related bonuses in years two and three.  Andrew Brandt offers up contract nitty gritty but I want to go through the implications for the main parties involved in the deal.  While some people write the standard “Winners/Loser” post, I give you updates on the “Movers and Shakers.”

Peyton Manning: Quarterback, Denver Broncos

Two different narratives emerge from his decision to join the Broncos and depending on his success it may lead to a massive reevaluation of the greatness of number 18.  From a football perspective – that is winning Super Bowl Titles- the 49ers appeared to be in the best position for a Manning upgrade.  With an elite defense, retooled wide receivers and decent offensive line Manning could rip through the NFC West to a 1 or 2 seed every year.  Not wanting to play against Eli Manning seems like a piss poor reason to avoid the NFC, so I did not buy it.  Like John Elway, Peyton is devilishly calculating.  He does recognize the NFC is the better conference with more, better quarterbacks making his playoff route significantly harder.  Owning the depleted AFC West can provide the safer route to title land and his familiarity with the conference means limited extra preparation.  It shouldn’t be discounted that John Fox is a defensive coach and would not stand in the way of an all Peyton affair on offense – something he enjoyed during his time in Indianapolis.  How do we view all of this?

1)      Peyton Manning is a cerebral, intelligent quarterback who will work to get to the Super Bowl in the most comfortable manner.  Has all the information and skill to make a young team great.

2)      Peyton Manning can only play in one system to the point where his abilities are questionable.  He cannot deal with strong coaches and unless he gets full control he cannot succeed.  He avoids the path of most resistance both teams and conditions (windy in ol’ Candlestick) to try a softer route to a title.

John Elway: Executive Vice President of Football Operations, Denver Broncos

Fresh off a glowing endorsement one month ago, Elway finished wiping the blood off the knife driven in Tebow’s back and made a monster move.  No one should be shocked that Elway made this move: he is a traditional quarterback, never did like Tebow, and always wanted to move him in the best possible way.  His team now gets a Hall of Famer and someone who looks like the last major performer in Denver.  Elway also shows how serious he is in this job.  Former players often get pushed over in negotiations in sympathizing with current players; Elway looks as cold-blooded as a Chicago Booth graduate.  Also gives the Broncos room to negotiate for adding talent to please Peyton which is a long term win.

Timothy Tebow: Position TBD, New York Jets


Numbers may deceive but never lie.  Winning games and being on a winning team as a sub-50% completion rate passer just does not cut it.  Fans and teammates immediately abandoned him for the shiny Peyton Manning who will not arm punt the 8 yard out.  Going to New York City is just stunning.  J-E-T-S fans will immediately demand for him to hit the field after the second three and out continuing the regression to the mean under the Rex Ryan-era.  If anything, Tebow may be active at a difference position at FB or maybe tight end which would be an upgrade because he does not need to throw the ball.

Miami Dolphins: Poorly Run Organization, AFC East

What in the hell are they doing!? A competitive team down the stretch needed to wait for a bad game to fire their coach; they gave away a premier wide receiver, and cannot get a quality player to go there?  Manning sweepstakes – not a chance.  Alex Smith possibilities?  He USED them to get back at the 49ers.   New Miami coach, former Packers Offensive Coordinator Joe Philbin, passed on Matt Flynn.  Miami is left with nothing and never had a plan going into free agency.  Some fans protested Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland and his decisions made over the offseason.  Yeah, those same fans who are responsible for the second lowest home-field attendance in 2011 behind the playoff Bengals (embarrassing Cincinnati).  Dolphins did nothing so this means rebuilding and that is never good for fans or players.

San Francisco 49ers, Window wide open for playoff run, NFC West Champs, 2011

Awkward but grown men will get over it and play ball.  Never a real contender for Manning so the entire Manning conversation just caused unnecessary drama.  Second time where a strong head coach interferes with better quarterback play.  Mike Nolan did not like young Aaron Rodgers opting with a less threatening Alex Smith.  Now Harbaugh opts for Smith over Manning (though more likely the other way around).  Smith is such a nice guy here but he better not stink it up in the playoffs next year.


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