A few weeks ago, Adam Schefter spawned a couple of days of talk about the Browns and Peyton Manning with mere speculation that the Browns could be a suitor should Manning get cut before he is owed a $28 million roster bonus in March. It has been mostly quiet on the Peyton Manning front since then as Indianapolis has shaken things up by hiring GM Ryan Grigson, firing Jim Caldwell, and interviewing head coaching candidates, possibly even former Buckeye Jim Tressel. It is not so quiet anymore.
Yesterday teams seemingly started using the media as a mouthpiece to express interest in a player that they are certainly not legally allowed to speak with or about. The Dolphins got out first with a report in the Miami Herald. That report pulled a double whammy by also mentioning Packers backup Matt Flynn, who also isn’t available yet. That makes some sense since Miami just hired former Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin to be their new head coach. With all the talk started, the Cardinals didn’t want to be on the sidelines.
Adam Schefter was again in the middle of the Manning talk as he received the report from Arizona that the Cardinals will pursue Manning if he is released. The same team that guaranteed Kevin Kolb $21.5 million in guaranteed money while also parting with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is apparently still looking to solidify their QB spot. I’m sure they have visions of Larry Fitzgerald setting NFL records with Peyton Manning throwing him the ball.
And so it goes in the NFL where teams find ways to conduct business using the media. I am not surprised or even offended by it. It’s just important to understand how it happens. We should all know by now. We’ve seen the Peter King / Brett Favre show a few times.
With that in mind it is notable that all is quiet in Berea. The Browns have made it pretty obvious how important the quarterback position is to them, but haven’t floated anything specific about any QBs that aren’t currently on their own roster. As they get linked to RG3, Peyton Manning, Matt Flynn, Kevin Kolb and Andrew Luck (not really – just wishful thinking on my part) they’ve preferred to stay quiet in front of the microphones and apparently also on their phones and texts to reporters and insiders.
It isn’t bad strategy to keep people guessing when you have two first round draft picks and a pile of roster needs. Maybe Peyton Manning will be on the Browns radar, but there is no indication other than the team is undecided at quarterback.