My how things can change. A year ago, we didn't think Peyton Manning would ever play anywhere but the Indianapolis Colts. Yesterday, we found out he was released.
A few weeks ago, I considered the risk and reward of Peyton Manning coming to the Washington Redskins. Today, I feel more confident than ever in saying no.
Looking at it from the logical side of things, if Peyton Manning is healthy, you absolutely cannot go wrong with this guy. He elevates the level of play in every single player on your team. You owe it to yourself to sign him and let him work his magic.
But on the even more logical side of things, Peyton Manning to the Redskins makes absolutely no sense. Sure, you can pitch a good defense, a couple WR's you can grab in Free Agency, and a running game that ripped off big yards at the end of last season to alleviate pressure. You can sell this team to Peyton Manning that we were close with Rex Grossman and his minimum 2 turnovers per game. The same Rex Grossman who had horrible release and made ill-timed decisions to launch it up. You can even sell this system to Peyton as it's not all that dissimilar to Peyton Manning's system.
What I don't buy into is that it would be a move made for football reasons in this rebuild. We tried with the old vet, and while a Peyton Manning 50% healthy would be infinitely better than a 100% healthy, 45% committed Donovan McNabb, it's not the move the Redskins need to make with the dedication to this new formula we're working on.
Last year the Redskins wowed people with their miracle working in the NFL Draft, and turning this team from one of the 5 oldest to one of the 5 youngest, almost overnight. This year, that trend needs to continue, and not for roster's sake, and not even for performance sake. That trend needs to continue because the future is now, and now is the future.
A Peyton Manning signing would suggest to me that Dan Snyder cannot keep his money-grubbing hands out of the pot in the NFL, which is what we all agreed was the problem and what we all agreed needed to change.
Mike Shanahan has three years left on his contract. I don't believe these are Mike Shanahan's final three years coaching, win or lose. I believe that Mike does, however, devote himself on making the Redskins long-term winners, and not the 3-4 years Peyton Manning is going to offer. Mike Shanahan isn't just getting a quarterback for himself this year, he's getting Kyle Shanahan his quarterback of the future, and that means 10-15 years down the line, not 1 year at the start of Kyle's own head coaching gig, lost in the shuffle of mid-to-late round picks to not find his own superstar QB.
This year, the Redskins have a chance to find Kyle's superstar quarterback who will be fully developed into a machine when Kyle takes over as head coach of the Washington Redskins and Kyle will not have to worry for a long time whether or not he needs to find another quarterback. That superstar quarterback is waiting in the NFL Draft, likely at #2. That Superstar quarterback is not Peyton Manning.
Now, I'm not suggesting the Redskins cannot have both, they have the money, the means, and St. Louis won't turn down Mike's offer just because we have Peyton Manning acquired in free agency. $100M (or draft picks in this case) is still $100M regardless. However, that move alone is illogical. Do the Redskins have to at least pursue Peyton Manning? Of course. Who wouldn't? But do the Redskins need to sign Peyton Manning? My answer is simply - no.