While the offseason may already be in full swing for the Houston Texans, it's just now begun for the Denver Broncos. That means there'll be rampant speculation on what the next move is for Peyton Manning. With his rather disappointing 26-46, 211 yards, 1 TD performance against the Indianapolis Colts yesterday, it's very possible that John Elway may decide to shop the 17-year veteran around and finally begin the Brock Osweiler era in Denver.
Manning has been just as brilliant as ever with the Broncos -- taking them to the playoffs three years in a row and making a Super Bowl run last season -- but there was a marked decline in his play during the stretch run in 2014. Elway was savvy enough to maneuver the team away from TebowMania while simultaneously ushering in Manning; is he savvy enough to get off the Manning wagon before the wheels fall off completely?
But who are likely trade partners? Durga only knows, but Jason La Canfora has already brought up Houston.
With Manning's future in doubt guess it's as good a time as any to pass along I'm told the team he really wanted to go to in '12 was HOU...— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) January 12, 2015
Manning wanted to sign with HOU, but the team was doing well with Schaub, wasn't really interested in making that move at that time— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) January 12, 2015
It's not clear if La Canfora is just re-hashing old information from when Manning was a free agent, or if he's hearing early buzz from the Manning camp. Llooking at the Texans' current crop of quarterbacks, it's a logical connection to make. The Texans aren't married to any of their current candidates, nor are they in a prime position to take a pro-ready QB in the 2015 NFL Draft.
But how badly is Manning declining? Or is it just an injury? Jay Glazer has the scoop:
I reported on FOX Sat. AND Sun Peyton Manning actually had injuries to BOTH quads - strain (or partial tear) in one & deep bruise in other— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) January 12, 2015
If the quad injuries were the cause of Manning's decline late this season, there's hope that The Sheriff has another 600 or so throws left in his arm. Given Peyton's advanced NFL age of almost 39, we'd have to expect more of such occurrences.
Personally, I think making a move for Peyton would help him more than it would help the Texans. He would get to extend his career, chase more records and make more commercials. The Texans meanwhile would be mortgaging their future with traded draft picks, complicating their salary cap even more, all the while fielding a less talented roster overall than the Broncos. Elway went all-in stocking talent around Manning, and they still couldn't get it done.
Specifically: Peyton Manning has a torn rectus femoris, which runs down center of thigh. Bruising was so severe it spread to back of his leg— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 12, 2015
A 12-4 season, with Andre Johnson finally getting double digit touchdowns, but the Texans would come no closer to finding their franchise quarterback. Stay the course, I say.
These are just my thoughts, though; what are yours? Sound off on this little offseason nugget down below.