Sunday, March 11, 2012

Is Peyton Manning Who We Thought He Was?

Peyton Manning continues his highly publicized visit with NFL Teams as he recently became a free agent after being released from the Indianapolis Colts.  The teams that are reported to be in the running for his "talents" are the Miami Dolphins, Denver Broncos and Arizona Cardinals.

Peyton Manning has an unblemished reputation and  always seems to emerge out of controversy with class.  You would expect a team's character and morale compass to play a role in to his decision as to where he would like to spend the rest of his career.  Although none of the teams mentioned would likely be characterized as having "character issues", if you had to pick one to eliminate, it would likely be the Miami Dolphins.  Reason being, Brandon Marshall has been known to have some off the field issues and has made some questionable comments to the media on more than one occasion.  Being that this is the person that Peyton Manning would be expected to bond the strongest with, I think you can take the Dolphins off the Peyton Manning sweepstakes.

The Denver Broncos can make a better case for Manning's services.  John Elway, one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, runs the organization.  The Broncos play in the AFC, where Peyton has a comfort level, is familiar with the defenses and does not have to face his brother Eli Manning as often.  The negatives for the Broncos are the cold weather.  This may not seem like a major factor but Peyton has played his entire career in a dome and cold weather takes more of a toll with age.  As for character issues Denver seems okay, although two players were recently suspended for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.  A more significant challenge toward the Broncos signing Peyton is their lack of offensive weapons.

So in typical Arizona Cardinals - Dennis Green - fashion, "is Peyton Manning who we thought he was?"  By the way, if you have no knowledge of the Dennis Green reference, check out the video:

The Arizona Cardinals don't seem to have any major character problems with players, the weather would be extremely friendly to Peyton's body and they have Larry Fitzgerald, who is known for his skill set, leadership and character.  In addition their head coach has experience coaching and winning with a veteran quarterback, and the organization went to a Super Bowl with another newly acquired veteran quarterback at the time named Kurt Warner.

But we'll just have to wait to see what Peyton decides to do.  The Miami Dolphins do have the best offensive tackle to protect Peyton's blindside, and the Arizona Cardinals have an inconsistent offensive line.  In my opinion Peyton Manning will teach us that culture and character matter in sports as it does in business.  Fair or unfair, we expect a lot from Peyton.  Let's see if he meets our expectations.

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