It’s very interesting to consider the impact that Peyton Manning will have on this year’s quarterback market if he’s released by Indianapolis. So far, the Redskins, Dolphins and Cardinals have all been rumored as possible destinations for Manning but Chris Fedor of ESPN 850 AM mentions that the Cleveland Browns are likely to be the most effected by his decision.
If the Dolphins sign Manning then Matt Flynn jumps to the top of the Browns list. Right now, Cleveland will have plenty of cap space to sign Flynn and his experience in the west-coast offense makes sense from a schematics standpoint.
Let’s say the Cardinals lure Manning out to the desert. They would have to release Kevin Kolb, who is due a large bonus of his own. Rumors have circulated that Kolb would be an “ideal” fit for the Browns considering that Brad Childress will most likely employ a similar offense to the one Kolb ran in Philadelphia. Flynn is still on the table in this scenario as well but it would force the Browns to strongly assess who is the better fit.
Then there’s Washington. If the Redskins get Manning under contract, the Browns are down to Flynn and Robert Griffin III. Reports have indicated that Miami has Flynn as their contingency plan which means that RGIII could end up being the Browns best option. This would also eliminate two of the teams that could trade up for Griffin which means that Cleveland could do so at a cheaper cost or could stay at #4 and take him there.
I’ll admit that there are “wildcard” scenarios like the Seahawks or Jets stepping in signing Manning or he could miraculously return to the Colts but it’s a safer bet, at this point in time, that he’ll end up with one of the three teams listed.