Sources have told several media outlets, including the NFL Network and Seattle Times, that the Seahawks will stalk former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning with the idea of making him richer than he already is. The teams most interested in signing Manning ainclude the Cardinals, Broncos, Chiefs, Dolphins, Jets, Titans and Redskins — this after Mike Holmgren’s Cleveland Browns elected to sit out the sweepstakes.
“One team in particular wasted no time expressing its interest,” reported the NFL Network, “as the Seattle Seahawks have already reached out to Manning’s camp, a league source told NFL Network’s Albert Breer.”
Manning arrived in Miami Wednesday, apparently not with the intent of visiting with Dolphins officials, but with the aim of continuing his off-season rehab workouts with former teammate Reggie Wayne, who resides in south Florida.
Manning, who owns a condo in Miami, told a Miami TV station that south Florida might not be his final destination, adding that he has “no idea” where he play in 2012.
“I have no idea who wants me, what team wants me, or how this process works,” said Manning, released earlier this week by the Colts, who would have owed Manning a $28 million bonus had he been on the roster Thursday. “I don’t know if it’s like college recruiting where you go take visits. I mean, this is all so new to me.”
Most NFL dopesters consider as the frontrunner Miami, which has started six quarterbacks since Dan Marino retired, based on owner Stephen Ross’s public statements that he would pursue Manning feverishly if he were available. Ross is apparently as infatuated with Manning’s gate appeal as he is Manning’s quarterback abilities. But Manning insisted he knows nothing of that.
“I literally have not had one conversation with anyone about these teams,” Manning told the TV station. “It has been so hard for me trying to figure out some closure with my situation with the Colts. I haven’t thought about teams and I don’t know who is interested, I really don’t. This is all new to me. But look, the Miami Dolphins have a great organization, a great history, they have new people in place.”
Seattle has the richest owner in the NFL,Paul Allen, among the best practice facilities in the league, a team, at least based on the second half of the 2011 season, on an uptick, and a born recruiter/salesman in head coach Pete Carroll. And they are more than $20 million under the salary cap.
But Seattle doesn’t have Miami’s great pro football history or its generally balmy weather. Seattle also fights the geographic isolation issue, once described memorably former Seahawks cornerback Shawn Springs: “Playing in Seattle is like playing in Egypt.”
That might actually work in Seattle’s favor since Manning, by all accounts, tends to avoid the limelight whenever possible. Or maybe not. By playing for the Seahawks, Manning would spend the majority of his time a continent removed from his extended family.
Open-air CenturyLink Field might also work against a Seahawks’ bid for Manning, who would practically be guaranteed eight warm weather games in a place such as Miami.
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