It sucks when you see your Eagles playing (losing) in your sleep. It doesn't usually happen, but just woke up after I had a nightmare of the Eagles struggling with Vick at Qb. So don't kill me if this comes out of left field a little bit or if it's already been said a few times, but as I woke up from the nightmare, the thought of Peyton Manning playing for our beloved Eagles came to mind, so thought I'd write about it right away.
Not sure how many of you think Vick will be the answer here for many years to come. His style of play and his lack of concern for his health might lead him right back on the injured list next year. The threat of his running has been nullified with the Eagles trying to make him more of a "pocket" passer and because of the chance of injury every time he runs and his lack of ability to slide. Combined that with a lot of passes being knocked down at the line of scrimmage this past year, there are definitely some concerns about how far we can go with him at Qb. Don't get me wrong, he really did take over the NFL a little bit in 2010 and if his play had continue to progress in the latter part of 2010 and into 2011, we wouldn't be having this conversation. But it seems like ever since that tuesday night Vikings game at the Linc and Antoine Winfield effectively blitzing Vick on every few plays, Vick has not played to the level he was playing beforehand. Vick might take a step forward after taking a couple of steps back last year and if that happens, I think we're all for it, but with his style of play, I'm just leary about banking our present and future on him.
So, it just makes you think, if Peyton Manning is healthy for next year (or even if he needs a little bit more time, we still have Vick), would it be a good idea to get him ? It seems as though the Colts will let him loose with the $28 million bonus coming up in March and the 1st pick in this year's draft and his health a big question mark (also, if you've followed some of the back and forth between Irsay and Manning, that also will tell you something about his future in Indy). So, he's pretty much going to be released, because who wants to trade for that contract not knowing if Manning will ever play a down in the NFL again ?
So if he's released, and has a chance of playing in the future, would the Eagles take a chance on him ?
I really haven't considered this scenario until now, but it's worth at least thinking about. Here are some reasons why it wouldn't be a bad idea:
- Eagles are in desperate need of that 'Eli'te Qb we've never had.
- Howard Mudd
- Andy Reid's love for great Qb play.
- Manning still might have a couple of good years left in him.
- Manning is probably one of the brightest Qb's ever, so he wouldn't take forever to get the system down.
- Michael Vick - Injury waiting to happen.
- Timing: Manning and Reid can ride out into the sunset together.
Now if Manning can't ever play again, then this is a moot point. But if there is still a chance for him to play, what do we have to lose ? We are still tied to Vick for one more year, so if Manning is not totally ready to play this year, he can be an under study and a mentor to Vick this year. Of course under-study in learning the offense but a mentor in every other way. Would this ruffle Vick's feathers ? Probably a little, but he was once brought in and was an under-study to McNabb, so he shouldn't be too pissed off. Vick trusts and is indebted to Andy, so I don't see him making a big scene. As long as Vick is getting "paid", I'm sure he'll be fine. So, year 1, Manning can still get healthy and learn the system and help Vick out at the same time. So this is already a good situation for 2012 without Manning even playing a down. Now Year 2 rolls around, and if Vick doesn't take us deep into the playoffs in 2012, and if Manning is healthy enough to play in 2013 then we can trade Vick at that point. Or if it looks like Manning won't be able to play ever, then we can release him after the 2012 season and continue on with the Michael Vick project or whatever they decide to throw at us at that point. So it's a 1 year rental, somewhat. And I'm sure they would be able to sign something with an "out" clause if Manning is unable to play after the 1st year. So the financial risk shouldn't be that much and for not more than one year.
It's a long shot, but just something to think about, you never know what crazy ideas the Eagles are thinking up in that NovaCare Complex. The Eagles have made some bold moves at the Qb position in the last couple of years, first by trading McNabb and then by replacing Kolb after one game as a starter. So you know that Andy's mind is always going when it comes to Qb play. And they don't leave any stones unturned. Andy would probably be in heaven, if he could work with someone like Peyton Manning, let alone Peyton Manning himself. I wouldn't put anything past this organization and what they are willing to do to bring that elusive Super Bowl to Philly. Last year, although they failed, you can't knock them for going out and getting the likes of Nnamdi, Babin and Jenkins, I was just as surprised as anyone when they got all those players. So, if a chance comes along, where they have a shot at Peyton Manning, I would think they would do their due diligence and be ready to go after him and surprise the rest of the NFL and all of us fans at the same time. Howie and Andy can do anything, I learned that last year, and I won't be surprised if they go after players hard in free agency again this year. And getting Peyton to join us would be their defining moment and would be something they would be remembered for forever. Just imagine what a healthy Peyton can do in this offense, his accuracy with the weapons we have on offense would be just unstoppable, they can win those mutliple Super Bowls if Peyton is truly healthy enough to play in the NFL. Andy and Howie will not and can not just ignore the possibilities.
You also have to think that Andy would have the inside track on Peyton with Howard Mudd here. That is our biggest plus and attraction for Peyton to chose Philly when he becomes available. I'm sure Howard keeps in touch with Peyton and has some inside information in terms of his real health and availability for next year and onwards. If Andy is interested, and why wouldn't he be, then I'm sure he's already discussed it with Howard and they are keeping a close eye on that situation. Also, how much of a comfort level would Howard provide for Peyton! It would be a win-win situation for both Peyton Manning and Howard Mudd if they are together again. Imagine Peyton at the line of scrimmage trying to orchestrate this offense, it would be scary.
And finally, why wouldn't Peyton want to come here ? If he's ready to go this year and if the Eagles are sold on that then the Eagles are bold enough to trade Vick this off-season, and they'll do it in a heartbeat before the draft probably and get a couple of nice picks. Vick still has good value and I'm sure a few teams would be interested. Imagine the extra talent we can bring into this team with that extra high round pick or two, it would be crazy. And if Peyton feels that he still needs more time, then again, this situation is ideal for him to sit back and learn the system and get himself ready to come back while Vick plays out this year and then Peyton can come in the year after when he's fully ready to go. Which team would give him that luxury ? I don't think there's any other team out there who can do that. Also, let's not forget another reason he would want to play in Philly: The Talent. Do you think Peyton would like to throw to DeSean and Maclin at the Wr positions and Celek and McCoy at the TE and RB positions ?? Is there another team out there with that type of talent on their team ? I don't think that Peyton's even had that much talent around him all at one time. Desean can be comparable to Marvin Harrison in his heyday, he hasn't had a back comparable to McCoy, Celek is right there with the likes of Dallas Clark, and Maclin is just as good as Garcon, if not better. Couple that with an offensive line created by Howard Mudd, the pass first offense created by Marty and Andy and I think Peyton would be in Heaven too. This team, our Eagles, gives him the best chance to get to the Super Bowl and win it. I think the Eagles would work out any contract issues with him and make sure that he's happy, so there wouldn't be any financial concerns. And like I stated before, if he can't play at all, then there has to be an out after the first year for both parties to go their own ways, and you would think Peyton would understand that and not demand guaranteed money for "multiple" years if he doesn't play at all this upcoming season. All in all, it would be a great thing for Peyton, and he would and should be on board to join a team with the talent level of the Eagles.
Peyton will turn 36 on March 24th and probably can still perform at a high level, health permitting, for at least another couple of years. And our head coach also has 2 good years left on his contract before he's finally shown the door for not winning the big one. So both are kind of coming close to the end in their careers - Peyton overall and Andy at least in Philly. If they could somehow team up then things can change drastically. They can go both change, add to and enhance their legacies in their respective positions. With Peyton, Andy can finally have that accurate, pocket passer he's been looking for in all his Qb's. For the type of coach Andy Reid has been, you would think that he deserves a real Qb, someone who is accurate and gets it "all" when it comes to playing the Qb position. There has been so much to be desired with play of McNabb, Kolb and even Vick, but with Peyton, Andy will finally meet his soul mate, in a football sense at least. He can stop worrying about the Qb position and put it in cruise control with Peyton out there. I won't get ahead of myself and predict "multiple Super Bowls," but at least we'll be right there in the top tier of teams competing to get into the playoffs and making a deep run. And that's all we can ask for in these final years of Andy. Who knows, if the Eagles decide to sign Peyton, then it might just extend Andy's career as the head man in Philly.
And I'll leave you with that thought.
Here are some Peyton Manning Highlights just in case you were interested in envisioning what could be...
What do you think ?