[This will be your Daily Slop substitute today. Always extra sloppy when yours truly delivers it.]
The issue of whether or not the Redskins will land Peyton Manning likely boils down to his desire to come here as opposed to our desire to sign him. I don't think this team jumps off the page for a player of his stature and who knows how much his affection/respect for Mike Shanahan will factor into his decision?
I have contended for quite some time that a Hall of Fame quarterback that his own team doesn't want is a risky player to sign. In light of the recent hype surrounding what Washington is allegedly prepared to pay for the rights to Robert Griffin III however, I am wondering if making a push for Peyton Manning would be a wise move--as part of a bigger plan to overhaul the quarterback position.
If the Redskins were able to sign Peyton Manning, I would still advocate using one of the high picks on a quarterback--just not the first rounder. Identify a player that has proven to be a smart, winning signal caller in college with the ability to soak up anything that he could from a living legend. Kellen Moore comes to mind, even though it is likely a team won't have to reach too high in the draft to get him. Brandon Weeden could be a player you bring in to develop as a guy who is mature enough to handle the circus that would ensue. Weeden--if he is indeed good enough to play at the pro level--would also be aided by his age and professional sports experience if he was called on to replace an injured Manning.
As if you didn't know this was coming--signing Manning allows the Redskins to be aggressive about trading down in the first round. Imagine having Manning in the fold and being able to move down into the middle of the first round to draft David DeCastro. You could still get the best receiver available at the top of the second round. One would hope that the bounty obtained by trading down would net the Redskins an extra pick somewhere in the top two or three rounds to target a rookie quarterback to sit behind Manning.
I have come full circle on the Peyton Manning matter. What have we been talking about for the last year or longer?
Upgrading the quarterback position.
Moving up to draft Griffin does accomplish that...but the cost is simply too much. And if you want to talk about injury concerns with Manning, you HAVE to talk about them with Griffin, too. His style of play opens him up to huge injury risks, not to mention he has already had his knee worked on multiple times (ask Parks about that).
If the Washington Redskins sign Peyton Manning to be the starter in 2012, and draft a rookie somewhere in the first three rounds to groom under the Hall of Famer, our quarterback position will be immediately and legitimately upgraded. We would have our full complement of draft picks this year and next year. We would have the ability to bring in quality young talent at key positions around Manning. And let's not forget that if we do sign Manning, we would likely get at least one or two other free agents who would be eager to hitch their wagons to the #18 car (VJax?).
Of all the options available to us, it is my opinion that a combination of Manning and a rookie would be the safest, lowest-risk plan to upgrade the quarterback position. Peyton is better than all of the free agent options, and more proven than the top rookie prospects--which, by the way, we are not currently in position to draft. He would create at least as much buzz and excitement as drafting RG3, and he would have a far better chance to win right away. Peyton is a much more attractive option than both Matt Flynn and Kyle Orton. Pairing him with a rookie that the team believes can grow would be a huge investment in the quarterback position for this team. From the standpoint of future resources to build the team, this would seem to be a far cheaper deal than trading up for RG3.
I think it is a longshot at best for the Redskins to land Peyton. He is not chasing dollars. He may not be interested in joining his brother's division--he might want to find an AFC team that gives him the best chance to meet up with Eli in the Super Bowl. If Manning is willing to take a call from Bruce Allen and Mike Shanahan though, here's hoping they make him their best offer in the first 60 seconds of that call.