When Rivers first texted me about this last night, I debated whether I should even draft a post in response to Bob Allen's report. Then I read the flurry of commentary the news item inspired in this post, so I decided we should at least have a forum for the discussion, even though I happen to believe the story is a complete non-story. Let's examine what was reported and react accordingly after the jump.
Bob Allen said:
Someone I know who is close friends with the Manning family says Peyton is definitely interested in possibly coming to the Texans. Peyton will be released by the Colts early next month and will be a free agent. The person who knows the Mannings says Peyton wants to play on a team that has a chance of going to a Super Bowl, and the Texans fit that description.
Another big plus is that the Texans are in the Colts division. Manning not only knows the division, but I'm told the relationship between him and Colts owner Robert Irsay now is strictly business. And don't underplay the competitiveness between Peyton and Eli -- it "does" matter that Eli has two Super Bowl rings to his one.
My immediate reaction, and then it's all yours in the Comments...
1. "[D]efinitely interested in possibly coming..."? That's news? I have no doubt that Peyton Manning is "definitely interested in possibly coming" to any team that would give him a fighting chance to win another championship.
2. In a wholly unrelated story, I am definitely interested in possibly coming to Belize tonight. Don't feel mislead when I'm laying on my couch and watching TV this evening. It's not like I guaranteed, or even said it was probable, that I'd be elsewhere.
3. Assuming Peyton is healthy (and that's a gigantic "if") and truly wants to come to Houston, where is the money coming from to pay him? The Texans have a whole lot of their own players to sign. If Peyton Manning was to sign with the Texans, it almost necessarily means that, among other moves, Matt Schaub is cut, Mario Williams walks, Chris Myers walks, Arian Foster doesn't get a long-term deal, there is no Duane Brown extension, and so on. Adding Peyton at the expense of those guys does not make the Texans better.
4. For all the talk of Peyton being agreeable to signing an incentive-laden deal, how exactly would that work? He signs a one-year contract for $5,000,000.00 with a $25,000,000.00 bonus if his new team wins the Super Bowl? Is such a thing even permissible under the CBA? Is that something the players' union would want to see happen?
5. Peyton Manning at 100% > Matt Schaub at 100%. After that (e.g., Peyton Manning at 75% compared to Matt Schaub at 90%), it's all conjecture, especially when you factor in Schaub's fit in this offense and Peyton's lack of practice/familarity with the west coast scheme Gary Kubiak runs. That's not to say Peyton wouldn't or couldn't pick Kubiak's scheme up, or that Kubes wouldn't adjust what the Texans do to play to Peyton's strengths, but it may not be as seamless as you might hope. Not to say it's apples to apples, because it most certainly is not, but Brett Favre struggled when he went from the offense he ran in Green Bay his entire career to a totally different scheme with the Jets. Even for a player as great and smart as Peyton Manning, it isn't plug-and-play.
I'm sure I left a thought or two out. I'm equally sure you'll pick up that slack in the Comments. Bottom line: I cannot fathom a way that Peyton Manning is the QB of your Houston Texans in 2012. Bob Allen's report is grist for the slow February rumor mill, but that's about it.