I know that is one heck of a headline, right? Thanks to Adam Schefter talking to Mike and Mike this morning on ESPN radio Browns fans can dream about Peyton Manning taking over the Browns offense next year. So, what, exactly could this all be about?
The Colts have fired the Polian family from their front office. The team hasn’t made a decision regarding their head coach Jim Caldwell as of yet. They have the number 1 pick in the upcoming NFL draft and QB phenom Andrew Luck is staring them in the face. Peyton Manning is rehabbing a neck injury where he had vertebrae fused together and he is 35 years old. He is also due a $28 million (MILLION) roster bonus in March. The Colts are at a crossroads.
Do they cut Peyton Manning? Obviously the team could move forward next season without Manning and with Andrew Luck by simply cutting Manning and his gaudy salary. The Manning family is kind of involved and over-bearing sometimes. Archie is already on record about Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck sharing the same roster. Archie makes Brad McCoy look like a sheepish little mouse.
The Browns could trade Brad McCoy for a few years of Peyton Manning and his dad Archie should Manning become a free agent outright. The Browns certainly have the cap space to pay Manning one more time before he retires. In August this year the Browns had about $24 million in cap space. They re-upped with a few guys during the season, but there’s always some flexibility in the NFL. I’m not saying the Browns should do anything like it, but they could part ways with Eric Steinbach who is set to make $12 million over the next two seasons. Sheldon Brown is set to make $3.7 million in his final year next season as well.
Trading Brad McCoy for Archie Manning via free agency is about the only way I see it happening. The way Peyton Manning’s deal is structured I just don’t see anyone actually trading with the Colts to take on the contract as it is currently written. Manning signed a $90 million deal that pays him $69 million over the first three years of the contract.
All in all though, I wouldn’t get my hopes up if I were you. That is assuming you are interested in a few years of Peyton Manning on the Browns anyway. What are the chances that Peyton Manning would come to Cleveland? When Archie had control over Eli’s draft position, they bargained their way out of San Diego so Eli could be a Giant. If Peyton Manning was free and clear to go absolutely anywhere he wanted, why wouldn’t he choose somewhere else where they are further along? He could go to Houston and throw balls to Andre Johnson. he could go to the Jets and make NYC a Manning town for a few years.
We’ll see how it shakes out, but I don’t have a clear vision for it. Plus, who knows if he is even going to be healthy enough to make it through a season let alone multiple?