|Penalty Flag Blog|
Manning, who was in Denver yesterday speaking with John Elway and the Denver Broncos, has reportedly narrowed his "preferred" list to the Broncos, Cardinals and the Miami Dolphins - who he will visit in the next few days.
Viewing life through my Cardinal red colored glasses, there is only one stop that makes sense if Manning is truly seeking a team constructed to win "now" - the Arizona Cardinals.
Let's take a look at why Peyton Manning will be an Arizona Cardinal in 2012:
Larry Fitzgerald: Fitz is the best receiver in the league, period. Fitzgerald has missed only four games in his professional career since coming into the league in 2004 and he is signed through 2018. Fitzgerald is a team leader and a pro's pro with his work ethic. Oh, and did I mention Fitz had playoff experience? He happens to own the greatest single season playoff performance in the history of the game from 2008 with 30 receptions, 546 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns. Fitzgerald has been there, done that.
Myth and Money: Let's put to end the myth the Bidwell's are cheap. While the Bidwell's were notoriously cheap dating back to the St. Louis era, it is no longer the case in Arizona. The Cardinals have made Larry Fitzgererald the highest paid WR in football, paid Darnell Dockett $30 million guaranteed with two years left on his contract in 2010, and Coach Ken Whisenhunt and GM Rod Graves are locked up through 2013 with a team option for 2014. In addition to the obvious big name spending, the Cardinals have done a much better job maintaining key support staff such as strength and conditioning coach John Lott. These are hardly moves of a "cheap" franchise and the myth the Bidwell's are cheap is a distant memory.
Not a disadvantage anymore.
The dome effect: Peyton Manning is a smart man. His talents are obvious assuming he is healthy. Peyton will put himself in the best position to perform and succeed personally. What is better than playing 11 of your 16 regular season games in a dome? Nothing.
Advantage Cardinals 2012 schedule.
In addition to the Fitz, the Money Myth, and the Dome influences; Peyton Manning will see a Cardinal defense under Ray Horton that was much improved the second half of 2011, a special teams superstar in Patrick Peterson, and a coaching staff that has effectively integrated a future Hall of Fame quarterback, Kurt Warner, into their offensive scheme in years past.
While the Broncos and Dolphins may have some nice components to sell Peyton Manning, no team in the league has more to offer the four time NFL MVP than the Arizona Cardinals.
Did I mention it was 75 and sunny here today?
Until Next Time,