Ahhh, rumors. With the internest, ESPN, and so many print and TV reporters out there, who knows what is correct and what is just an opinion based on little factual information. But the rumor and "what if" game is fun to play, so I'll participate.
Let's say that Manning works himself out of the Colts and comes free AND is healthy enough to play next year (I'm thinking all this will happen). And let's say that Flynn does not get tagged by the Packers (possibly a Transition tag, but most likely not) and is free to sign wherever. And lastly, let's say that Kolb stays in Arizona (makes sense they would give him one more year to get comfortable there with the system and players).
So we have 2 highly sought after QB's (Manning, Flynn), 2 highly sought after rookies (Luck, RGIII), and a few second tier QB's on the market (Orten, Henne, Campbell, possibly a few others).
The teams looking for QB's seem to be Washington, Miami, and Seattle, followed by (to a lesser extent) Cleveland and Kansas City. Teams like Jacksonville, NY Jets, and maybe another surprise team looking for competition for their young QB's. I'm also assuming A. Smith stays in SF after his run through the playoffs this year.
So what makes the most sense?
Luck to the Colts, obviously.
I think Cleveland stays with McCoy, takes one of the second tier QB's to compete (Henne would look good there I think), and takes Trent Richardson to help their anemic ground game (Peyton Hillis experiment is over).
Not the fun part. Washington. Reports say (from 2 sources I've heard) that Manning/Shanahan are not a good fit. The offensive style that Shanahan preaches is very, very much not compatible with what Manning does best. So this leaves either Flynn or RGIII. If he is looking for baby Elway (similar to Griese, Cutler), then I think you have to lean toward Shanahan going all in on RGIII in the draft. Part of me says that he would prefer to have an experienced QB in there and is on the clock with Snyder, but it just seems to me RGIII "fits" a lot better than Flynn does.
So does Miami cash in on Flynn if they come to this same conclusion? Or will Seattle jump into the mix and see if they can make magic happen twice with GB 2nd string QB's (Hasselback a decade ago)? I'm thinking Miami won't go all in with the salary demands Flynn might have due to the work Moore put in during the second half of 2011. I'm just not sure the Dolphins will be sold that Flynn will be that much of an upgrade to Moore and will most likely cost $30-50 million to sign. Seattle will though, having less QB options in place, so Flynn signs with Seattle for basically more cash and a 100% chance of starting (vs. competing with Moore in Miami or with Cassell in KC or Sanchez in NY).
So....this leaves Orton and Manning. Does Orton like it in KC and is he willing to fight for the starting job next year with Matt Cassell? Does Manning see the NY Jets as an option with their locker room issues to get a chance to play in the same city as Eli? Only Manning knows this and I do think there is a chance he might head to the Jets despite everyone going all out on defending Sanchez over the past week.
I do think Manning makes a lot of sense for the Dolphins. An owner who wants to make a splash. An owner who will be willing to pay huge dollars at him. A new coach to work with where he can share power in calling plays and setting up a system that he likes. The Dolphins in perfect position to draft an OT giving Manning a great line to work behind. The Dolphins have a good defense that could get better with a pass rusher or quality free safety. The Dolphins also have above average weapons at RB and WR and possibly can get another TE in the draft.
And don't underestimate the competitiveness of someone like Manning. Being in Miami would allow him to go against Brady 2x a year and would allow him to challenge himself with the "other" best QB of the last decade.
So I'm pushing Manning to the Dolphins, Orton to the Chiefs, and Campbell to the Jets.
I think that might be an offseason Dolphins fans could get excited about. Even if it means drafting another OT/OG in the first round!!