Regarding Peyton…

It looks like Peyton Manning is going to be hitting the open market soon. The Colts are sold on Andrew Luck and after cleaning house in the front office, they’re going to part ways with their aging franchise QB as well.

So now the Niners, and about 27 or so other teams are left to ponder whether they should make a run at the 36 year old QB.

On one hand, Manning is coming off of a year-plus injury stay and is very much in the twilight of his career. Do you ditch Smith and make a run at Peyton with the understanding that you will be looking for a new QB in 3 years at the latest?

And that’s assuming that Manning is able to get Harbaugh’s offense down and he is able to thrive in it. Manning is beyond immobile, and if he sees the pressure Smith did in 2011, he might not even make it to the trade deadline.

On the other hand, it’s Peyton freakin’ Manning. Arguably the greatest QB of his era and a guy who can basically act as his own offensive coordinator. Aside from that, the similarities to 1993 Joe Montana are eerie. How perfectly does this line up for Manning to pull a reverse Joe and bring the Niners a sixth title?

It’s definitely a “head says no, heart says yes” situation for me.

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81 Responses to Regarding Peyton…

  1. unca_chuck says:

    Peyton might just as well be toast. This is from Yahoo sports:

    For all the parrying and jousting last week over the future of Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, two sources say that the nerves in the quarterback’s right arm “are not healing as quickly as hoped and, worse, don’t appear to be progressing at enough of a rate to indicate that he will play again” While the vetebrae he had fused together during surgery last offseason have healed “as expected,” Manning “hasn’t shown improvement in velocity on his passes, and the two sources fear he likely never will again.” Yikes. On top of that, “two league-affiliated doctors with experience in spinal fusion surgery said it could take up to a year before Manning knows if he can return.” (That would be another year, on top of the one he just sat out.) Manning’s due a $28 million roster bonus if he’s still with the team on March 8, and with a prognosis like that, it doesn’t seem like there’s any way Colts owner Jim Irsay could keep him around, even if he wanted Manning to mentor Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, who the team will almost certainly select with the no. 1 overall pick in this spring’s draft. For his part, Manning told ESPN’s Trey Wingo in a lengthy sit-down interview that the feedback he’s getting from his doctors “is encouraging,” but stopped short of guaranteeing that he would compete for an NFL roster spot next season, repeatedly saying that it’s “hard to say” how many more years he intends to play.

  2. unca_chuck says:

    So, Irsay would pay him a $28 mill bonus on top of his $21 million salary to sit on the bench for another year.

    Cue George Bush I: “Not gunna happen . . .”

    • JDR says:

      Healthy or not, Indy’s going to let him go long before that bonus comes due. That was made clear when they announced their intent to take Luck.

      • slats says:

        Shitty wide outs and all, Smith is mediocre. Congrats to him on the season, but SF has Kaepernick to look forward to. UNR beat Boston College in the Emerald Bowl (the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl is not nearly as cool a name) which is the first time I’d seen him play. I kind of wondered who or if he would get drafted and not terribly suprised the 49ers picked him up. He was a 90+ pitcher that could have gone either way so he’s got an arm, he is extremely fast and if you hear him talk, he’s smart and humble. A good story about him is he was working at the gift shop at UNR. Somebody came in and wanted to buy his jersey. He told them it was #11 or whatever it was and the lady continued to diagree with him about it and finally he told him who he was but in a nice way.

        In the meantime, somebody is probably going to have an opportunity to snatch up Jason Campbell. I really liked what he was doing this season until he got hurt. I don’t see how the Raiders can hold onto him with Palmer’s huge contract and they have some other FAs like Michael Bush to deal with. Campbell could be a starter for a long time or if/when until Kaepernick is ready.

        It would be great to get through one off season and not have every local sports talk radio drone on and on about Alex Smith for the next 7 months.

  3. lasttraintoyuma says:

    I’m firmly in the “head says no, heart says no” category.

  4. shaman138 says:

    Forget about it. His neck will almost surely never recover and even if it did, he is still an agind QB with only a couple more years left in his tank. Alex Smith has shown (in the Saints game, particularly) that with good pass protection he can make good things happen. SF should stick with him for at least a year or two more.

    • JDR says:

      Smith has shown he can be a pretty good NFL QB, Peyton has shown he can damn near carry a team to a title. If he’s healthy (big if) and can be had at a reasonable number, you have to at least give him a look.

      Deadspin has a pretty good take on the hand-wringing over Manning. Basically, people are speculating on a lack of news more than anything. It isn’t that there’s anything wrong with his recovery, it’s just that there’s nothing great about it to report.

      • xoot says:

        Smith went from shitty to pretty good very quickly with Harbaugh and staff. Give him more receivers, keep V. Davis on track toward maturity, and take advantage of a full off season and pre-season to get ready — Smith could have a very good season in 2012.

        Manning’s either done or close to it. Why take a risk? Smith, at this point, is not a risk; maybe not a superstar, but not a risk.

        • lasttraintoyuma says:

          Xoot’s right. Smith costs far less than Peyton would cost and I don’t think you mess up the chemistry of a 13-win team on the chance of a 36 year old player whose vertebrae were fused together. If they signed Peyton and sidelined Smith (or released or traded him), what would be their backup plan if/when Peyton got hurt? It’d just be a recipe for disaster. Plus, Harbaugh really likes Smith. It sure seems that the tone of Harbaugh’s coaching style is that no individual is bigger than the team. Going right along with that is their ability to win with a QB who only made $5M last year. There’s no way Peyton is in a 49er uniform next year.

  5. unca_chuck says:

    Yeah, Manning is not anywhere near worth the risk. Alex Smith showed that he’s a much better QB than he’s been given credit for, and he did it without much at WR most of the season. Especially when Morgan went down. 18 point jumps in QBR in one year don’t happen by accident.

    Slats, sorry you’re stuck with a creaky Carson Palmer and only 2 (4th and 5th round) draft picks this year. Let me know how that works out. 13 picks in 9 starts for Mr. Pick? Smith threw 5 in 16 starts? If Smith is mediocre, then Palmer must be an tragic failure. Especially at the cost to get his sorry ass.

    • slats says:

      We? I’m no “we”. No I’m a fan, not an employee.I’m a fan of both BA teams too because I’ve lived here my entire life.

      Smith’s buried himself in the Giants game with several uncatchable throws at ankles. He’s not a good QB, he might be enough to keep the Niners in games, but he’s not good.. If Morgan makes or breaks your season, then you got problems. Look Smith did better and showed improvement. If he’s a free agent, I doubt he’s any kind of hot commodity really. He is a free agent and I haven’t heard a single comment of teams that would be waiting with a checkbook as soon as they can get at him.

      The moment at 4-2 when Campbell went down and seeing a playoff appearance as the only way to secure a second season. HueJack made a bad business decision for emotional reasons (and because he was a shitty HC and worse GM) .Boler was the backup and he’s not good. Period. Reggie McKenzie was the best hire of the off season. Period.

      So let’s leave the Raiders out of this except I’m aware of the painfully obvious contract that Palmer has. He is also a very good QB but has a contract that’s going to be hard to get rid of even if they wanted to and Campbell who is an FA and very good QB that I would imagine wants to start. Rolling the dice on Manning might seem nifty but there are some others willing to take a look. He might work it out with Indy or retire. It’s no accident that there are two very successful QB’s in the SB not Alex Smith. But back to the Niners. I’d look at Campbell and above him Matt Flynn as either could be your franchise guy and not simply watch the store for a year or 2 although those could be some pretty good years….

      But you know what chuck, McKenzie changes everything. He’s not under the gun to win or get fired this year and neither is his HC. He has said that they have the offense to win now, but he’s not under the gun to win this season or get fired either.

      Anyway back to Smith. There are lots of alternatives and I’ll be really disappointed if Smith trots out there again next season.

      • JDR says:

        You see Campbell as a franchise QB? Really? I see him as a very similar QB to Smith, and even that is generous. Flynn? Guy has been a career back-up aside from one big home game against a fading Detroit team with a loaded offense. It’s easy to look good when Grant and Nelson are posting huge YAC on short patterns. Shades of Elvis Grbac.

        IMO, you only replace Smith with a guy you see as a top-flight QB. I think Manning could still play at that level for another couple of years, but I’m in the minority. The only other unsigned QBs I can think of who would be an upgrade over Smith right now would be Luck and possibly RG III, and neither of those guys will be available at any cost.

        • slats says:

          Nobody thought Montana was coming back after back surgery either, so Manning? Why not. But he’s going to be expensive and the 49ers have several other FA’s and a stadium to think about. If the defense lets up even a little, who doesn’t think Smith is exposed?

          Is Campbell franchise? I had doubts but thought he very well could be before he got hurt and Flynn will be one of the most sought after QB’s this off season. Either of thim is an immediate upgrade over Smith. So you either believe that Smith is the franchise QB or not and I agree with folks that say he’s not so why sit on him for more years into the future? What would be the point in waiting another 3 or 4 seasons? Last summer Harbaugh inhereted the roster as set and trying to work in an FA QB wasn’t happening and a lot of people questioned it and weren’t happy about him coming back. Now the same chatter starts up immediately following the season. His attitude was right for Harbaugh and his skill set was just enough to make it work this season.

          • JDR says:

            It makes even less sense to spend the next 2-3 years cycling through mediocre QBs simply because Smith isn’t a “franchise” QB. You don’t deliberately make the team worse because you feel the guy you had wasn’t “elite” or some other designation.

            • slats says:

              The 49ers have succeded in drafting and retaining a mediocre QB. It’s just we’re going to differ on which QB makes the team deliberately worse weather it’s keeping Smith, signing an FA or a trade. If Peyton Manning is 75% back, he’s a franchise QB and they should try to go get that guy. Flynn and Campbell seem to enrage the JDR blogers, but they just immediately come to mind and I belive make the team better. I doubt they’ll have to hang the franchise tag on Alex to keep him from getting away so time is on their side and I bet he wants to stay. But my bet is that Alex Smith is the 2012 starter and there is no play ready backup. One not so small factor in this is payroll and the cost of the Santa Clara stadium.

              • JDR says:

                Campbell and Flynn don’t “enrage” anyone here, people just don’t see either as a significant improvement over Alex Smith.

                Your contention that the stadium is holding back payroll doesn’t hold any water either. The stadium is a decades-long investment involving hundreds of millions of dollars. The payroll is managed as a completely different pool and is managed with the salary cap in mind, not the team’s bottom line. The difference between the biggest and smallest payrolls in the NFL is currently around $31m and is based more on the number of large veteran contracts on the roster than it does market size or stadium situation. In fact, two of the top five payrolls are teams who are looking to get a new stadium (Minnesota and St Louis.)

  6. unca_chuck says:

    Yeah, I don’t know how much weight that article from Yahoo sports carries, but it sure sounds like it came from people who have seen Manning trying to throw, and are aware of the problems he’s having.
    .
    I don’t think ANYONE does anything for 6 months.

    • slats says:

      6 months? That would be August. I think that since camps are done and Pre-season starts, that most of the big moves like QB are done a little sooner.

  7. unca_chuck says:

    What alternatives, Slats? Manning? Overpay for Flynn based on 1 game? Campbell? Don’t make me laugh. Look how well Cassel worked out for KC. Or AZ’s big QB acquisition in Kevin Kolb. The point being, Smith was 8th in the league in QBR, took care of the football very well, and was 2 blown punts from the Super Bowl. Beyond the fact that Smith had the bigger plays in the NFC Champioship game, there’s the NO game to consider. 101.5 in the playoffs isn’t bad. Smith played very well without any WR help most of the year. I find it very unlikely that they shit-can him and go after Flynn.

    And you are the one that brought up the Raiders, not me. McKenzie doesn’t change anything. Until they actually do something, it’s all hype and bullshit. Who’s the backup when Palmer goes down? Terelle Pryor? Boller? They’ve got more invested in worthless QBs and any team in the leauge. I guess they can run their veriation of the Teblow offense with Pryor back there. Golly, I can’t wait.

    • Chico says:

      And they had a chance to change things and they hire Greg Knapp? Rotfl, FAIL!

      Raider nation is pissed! As for Manning, err, no!

      • slats says:

        I seriously hope the 49ers don’t continue to stick with Smith. It’s never a question of if but when with that guy.

      • shaman138 says:

        And Greg Mandouchesky as DC? Raiders just continue to amaze and surprise me on their ever-lasting fuckery. If we sign Kyle Williams as our punt returner, I will seriously not at all be surprised. I’m starting to wonder if Mark Davis and Co. is trying to pull a Lew Wolfe-type maneuver into driving away fans for an excuse to move to L.A.

        • slats says:

          If the shitty QB managed to convert a 3rd down more than once, that wouldn’t have happened. The ball off the knee was crazy and the fumble was a good play on the Giants ST. Williams is an easy target but the credit for that loss is #11 and nobody else. I’m going to be a Williams fan no matter where he is.

        • slats says:

          Wolff isn’t doing any such thing. But that’s a conversation for another day.

  8. unca_chuck says:

    Who said we, Slats?

    • slats says:

      You said “you’re stuck with a creaky Carson Palmer”. I’m not a part of the organization so I’m not part of the “you’re'” you feel is stuck with Palmer so since I’m not a “you’re” I’m not a “we” either. Get it?

      • mailorderwife says:

        Holy cow. You men should take back every mean thing ever said about women and PMS.

      • lasttraintoyuma says:

        It’s pretty obvious that the “you’re” was directed at “slats: the fan”, not “slats: the GM of the Raiders”. At least it was to me.

        • Chico says:

          Seriously.. Don’t know why or how Slats read that differently than anyone else on this board.

          • slats says:

            I know what he said and I’m reading the literal aspect of it. Look,, it’s not a big deal. It’s more a general gripe I have with people saying “we need to convert on 3rd down” or radio caller saying “we gotta stop making errors”. It’s up there but not as bad as 3rd person by mediocre personalities. Ricky can get away with it, but HueJack cannot.

            • Chico says:

              I don’t even know what the Fuck you are talking about. You are bellyaching over semantics dude. This blog can use more traffic and users but seriously? You made the literal aspect of it in your own mind. Jesus Christ, has everyone gone crazy? When someone says “we” they are referring to “our team” and “we” are the fans.

              This is kindergarten bullshit!

  9. unca_chuck says:

    You as a fan, skippy. Just like I’m ‘stuck’ with Alex Smith.

    If you think McKenzie isn’t under pressure to win, then why did the little Dutch boy bring him in? To lose? Seriously, Slats. This is the NFL. Which means (to steal from Jerry Glanville) Not For Long, if McKenzie and company don’t get this team into the playoffs NOW.

    Yeah, the spector of quick-triggered Al isn’t in the building anymore, but the Raiders are very much like the 2009 48ers. An 8-8 team that had loads of talent that the coaching staff seemed to be holding back. If they don’t reach the playoffs in 2012, what then? Do you consider 2012 a rebuilding season?

    • slats says:

      Unca, here’s a prediction: The Raiders and 49ers will both be 2012 division winners because both divisions suck.

      Becuase of McKenzie, there’s not the bitching in the locker room about yet another new coach because HueJack is gone after 1 season. It’s different like when Balke got hired. The inner workings of teh team where personnel decisions including coaching decisions are made. So when Richard Seymore commits his millionth PF f5 yard penalty or Routt gets tagged for PI (I believe he lead the league in penalties with a $10mil contract), then the belief is that some big angry GM will handle business that Al did not for the last decade or so and that some semblance of order will follow. He’s been working in Green Bay which is a highly organized and efficient organization. I’m not saying that there will be years of failure accepted, but neither am I saying that if they go 8-8 and miss the playoffs will there be a large house cleaning in 2013.

      The Raiders problems like in stupid play that I think is addressed somewhat by coaching but more so by coaching that is backed by the GM and I think that is the case now with Oakland and that has never existed there. In terms of positoin, a solid MLB and the DBs are their achilles assuming some of the idiotic penalties that I expect to be eliminated.

      The offense is good. Flat out there are some good players. The biggest decisions they have are obviously at QB and weather to even try to hang on to Campbell, and Michael Bush which I think they should because as spectacular as he is, McFadden is fragile and Bush is very good. He’s an FA too though.

      The Raiders have had a major house cleaning and will hopefully function like a normal NFL team. The 49ers benefitted tremedously from Balke and then Harbaugh so you have to believe those things matter.

    • slats says:

      BTW, “Skippy”? Are you calling me Skippy?

  10. xoot says:

    Sheesh, indeed. Only one poster I’ve ever seen on sfgate writes “sheesh” on a regular basis.

  11. unca_chuck says:

    The point remains, Slats, for all the talk, do you think KcKenzie gets a pass this season? Will the Raider nation take kindly to a 7-9 rebuilding year?

    I think the prevailing sentiment (and correct me if I’m wrong) is that the Raiders, as currently constructed, should reach the playoffs. You may think the AFC west is weak, but the Raiders came in 3rd place THIS season in that weak-assed division. SD isn’t as bad as they played early on. Denver? Another enigma. But they have a very good defense. KC? Who knows? They were all over the map last year. The point being, any of these teams can reel off 5 straight to win the division and leave everyone else behind.

    Same goes for the NFC west. The ‘Hawks and AZ both came on pretty strong by the end of the year, and are on the rise. Only the Rams appear to be completely out of whack. I don’t see the Niners going 13-3 in 2012, but they should win the division at around 11-5. It’s going to be a much tougher road in 2012.

  12. xoot says:

    well chico ain’t the one

  13. Chico says:

    http://blogs.mercurynews.com/49ers/2012/02/02/proposed-santa-clara-stadium-gets-200-million-in-nfl-funds/

    Not that it didn’t look like the Niners were going to Santa Clara, but I think this pretty much seals the deal.

    • lasttraintoyuma says:

      I sure wish they’d build a stadium near AT&T but it doesn’t matter since I attend 49er games about once every 10 years. Glad a stadium is coming soon, though. Thanks for the link to the blog, skippy.

      • JDR says:

        There’s no way they could do it now. That land is far too valuable as commercial/residential space.
        Back in the 80s and up until the Magowan group broke ground on the ballpark, there had been talk about building a mixed-use stadium in the mold of the Skydome at almost the exact spot were AT&T is now. I think the Chron still has a gallery of some of the sketches. thank god that didn’t happen.

        • Chico says:

          I don’t go to many games either. My buddy owns a pizzeria a half mile from my house with 10 different beers on tap and a huge TV. Good food, friends, 3 dollar pints of Sierra Nevada– Can’t beat it.

      • shaman138 says:

        The Raiders may eventually wind up sharing that stadium with the 9ers. Sniff.

    • mailorderwife says:

      On another note:
      http://www.mercurynews.com/southbayfootball/ci_19853863

      Really sucks that these fans will be expected to pay those prices for their years of loyalty. Absurd, ya know? This is why I love baseball. I have full season tickets to both our boys and the Cleveland Indians, and those tickets were waaaaay cheaper.

  14. shaman138 says:

    On a side note, it’s more than hilarious and entertaining to watch kenny, slats, et. al. flail around assuming the Billy Hatcher character and I are the same person. Keep up the good work, guys!

    • Chico says:

      A few years ago on my previous username, I would post a comment and some dude would accuse me of being another poster. I had this one guy follow me around and call me an anti-semite, I would respond back like “what are you talking about?” He would come back and say things like “I know who you are”.. That was before the [reply] function, and it was embarrassing. That username now sits idle, in the dustbin of history. As John Burton would say, “That site is Fucked up!”

  15. unca_chuck says:

    Yeah, everyone wants a new stadium, but it’ll price a ton of people out of the seats. It was kinda like when Pac Bell first opened. It seemed to be inhabited by a bunch of fair-weather fans and posers. It has gotten better over the years, but it’s still kinda like some of these fans don’t know the game like the old die-hards at the Stick used to. Don’t get me wrong, because the Stick was pretty much a disaster and a shit-hole as a baseball stadium. Before and after they filled it in. Even though it was built as a baseball-only place.

    • mailorderwife says:

      I have to agree with you on this one. As much as I love AT&T Park, the boring fans I sit next to are nowhere near as fun as the weeknight bleacher crowd at the ‘Stick…and this was before they put in those new bleacher seats.

      It took a lot of chutzpah to sit out in the middle of nowhere in left field, but we had our regulars out there. The bleachers were home to arm chair managers who would pace the concrete and shout out their orders. We used to wear sleeping bags and point our telescopes towards home plate (no lie – we even made MLB highlight reels), all the while passing around buckets of chicken and cavorting with friends whom we would never see outside the stadium. I used to feel sorry for the poor malted sales dude who would wander the seats out in the bleachers, ya know? But that was the place to be, away from people who never paid attention to the game.

      At $1.50 a pop — $.75 on half price nights — that was the greatest deal.

      • unca_chuck says:

        Yeah, it was a whole different world in the cheap seats. Even when the team was going pretty well in the late 80s, a Tuesday night Astros game was usually around 8,000 to 10,000 fans. Of the die-hard variety. At that point, the bleachers were still only $5.00.

  16. JDR says:

    FYI, I’ve changed the settings to require signing up for all comments. It makes managing the blog easier and I figure we have enough regulars to make it practical.

    It will also allow me to set people as contributors if anyone wants to pitch in with a post now and then.

  17. xoot says:

    So where are all the super bowl predictions?

  18. norcalboys says:

    I had a hell of a time signing up. I didn’t realize I was creating a blog with wordpress, Duh!

    That’s one bad ass avatar JDR

    • shaman138 says:

      There’s a link over on the right that lets you sign up without creating a blog. Guess you missed that at first…took me a minute to see it myself.

      • Chico says:

        Yeah, I missed a few things. Word press said that my username Chico was taken already (obviously) and didn’t match my e-mail address (wrong) so I chose this username instead, upload an avatar and the avatar shows under both norcalboys and Chico. Weird. Never done a word press thing and I’m not the best with computers, hell, I make a living with tools so I have an excuse.

  19. shaman138 says:

    Sons of Harbaugh? That is pretty bad ass….for a 49er pic.

  20. Chico says:

    WBB is having comments deleted again. Ya’ll know what to do.

  21. unca_chuck says:

    Eli passes his brother . . .

    • JDR says:

      If you need any further proof that QB numbers are overrated, it can now be said that Eli Manning has more rings than Archie and Peyton combined.

  22. unca_chuck says:

    Hard to fathom. Eli should be writing checks to his WRs.

  23. shaman138 says:

    Sorry, chuck…it’s just not your night.

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