Personally I'm not 100% sold on the idea of Manning in Miami. If it were to happen I would not be upset at all but I wouldn't be overly excited about either, at least not until I saw him in live game action. With that said, let us look at some of the positives as well as negatives we would be facing if Peyton were to indeed bring his talents to South Beach.
Some of the positives with signing Manning: Dolphins are automatically will be thrust into the spotlight expect Miami to once again get as much attention as it did with the LeBron and Bosh Signing. Peyton will definitely sell tickets! And not only does Ross want to win NOW he also needs to start seeing his business become prosperous. If Peyton can remain healthy (A VERY BIG RISK) then Dolphins WILL BE contenders, no doubt about it. I know Peyton is not known for his mentoring, but any young QB brought into the organizations will have a chance to work alongside and watch one of the very best to have ever played the game, I’m not saying that this opportunity will make any quarterback great but maybe the RIGHT quarterback can absorb his experience with Peyton and then translate that knowledge to the field when his number is called.
Some of the negatives with signing Manning: NO ONE has any idea if Manning will be healthy enough to ever withstand a regular NFL season again. Peyton’s surgery is a very serious procedure that takes several more surgeries in the future and months of intensive rehabilitation. Manning WILL NOT be the Manning that we have all grown up watching, most of you will remember how difficult it was watching Marino play in his later years after all his surgeries. If Manning comes to Miami we go straight into WIN NOW mentality (not to say that it is totally a bad thing) but remember most teams that go into WIN NOW mode end up paying for it down the stretch (i.e. Redskins, Jets, Oakland) and the teams who play for the future tend to be more successful (i.e. Ravens, Green Bay, Lions).
Nevertheless, I'm really starting to believe it's going to happen. So far Ross is 0-2 on getting what he wants I really don't think Manning will escape his willingness to get him here at all costs. So I got to thinking if we sign Peyton are FA cap spending would probably take a hit, so I started researching some cheaper alternatives to some of the positions I think that we will need to upgrade through FA and Draft.
In my opinion, here is a list of needs in order of the importance: QB, DE, TE, OL, FS
QB- Peyton Manning
I have already established why I think he will be in Miami next year above.
DE- Anthony Spencer
I know a lot of people will hate the idea of more Cowboy retread and I don’t blame you, but Spencer was the Cowboys 1st round pick in 2007 under Parcell. Spencer was originally selected as a defensive end out of college with the hopes of making him an OLB in Parcell’s 3-4 defense. The experiment did not succeed in Dallas and I think the reason is Spencer is not an 3-4 OLB he in fact his better suited to play DE in 4-3 defense (just like Wake would benefit by the same switch). To further back up my claim I have dug up some old scouting reports on Spencer take a look. http://recruiting.scout.com/a.z?s=73&p=8&c=1&nid=2707849
TE – Jacob Tamme
Tamme has spent the last 4 years in Indianapolis alongside no other than Peyton Manning as his QB. Matter of fact, his career best came in 2010 when he caught 67 catches for 631 yards and 4 touchdowns. Now I know he’s not an upgrade from Fasano, in fact, Tamme could be considered more of a double: both men are great route runners, have excellent body control, can separate from LB, and can block. So I say if you can’t upgrade Fasano thru FA why not get two Fasanos. Here is a scouting report on Tamme if you are interested. http://www.fftoolbox.com/nfl_draft/profile_display.cfm?prospect_id=1462
OL- Mike Brisiel
Brisiel is a RG for the Houston Texans, and it is believed that they are highly interested in bringing him back and why wouldn’t they be Houston had the best offensive line in 2011. The main reason I say Ireland will pursue Brisiel is because he is an excellent zone blocking guard and if we are really converting to WCO offense you better have some pretty good zone blocking guards. He is also young at 28 years old Brisiel (if he can stay healthy) still has some very bright days ahead of him and will only get better with age and experience. This would be an absolute great pick up for Miami if they can wrestle him away from Houston that is.
FS- Reggie Nelson
Nelson has already been linked to Miami as one of the Free agents that Ireland will probably be pursuing (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/4164/player?r=1). And why not? Nelson is considered to be a bust after being drafted by Jacksonville in the first round of 2007 draft. However, once he arrived in Cincinnati under the guidance of DB coach (and now Miami’s defensive coordinator) Kevin Coyle, Nelson has finally begun to play up to his potential. In 2011, Nelson recorded 4ints (1 that went for a touchdown), 2 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and registered 59 tackles. Compared to our current FS Reshad Jones who had 1int, 2 sacks, 0 FF, and 49 tackles I’d say that Nelson is definitely an upgrade. This season I fully expect Jones to be moved to SS (which is his TRUE position) leaving a big hole at FS which I believe will be perfectly suited for the likes of Nelson, plus Clemons is not a bad FS backup either. So with the acquisition of Nelson are FS spot would go from a position of need to a position of strength.
So with this crop of FA the Dolphins are now freed up to address more upgrades thru the draft, which I believe will look like this: RT, DE/OLB, TE, FS, QB, WR, OL.
If I had more time I would try to break down some draft selections but since the night is getting late and I need to get to bed I will leave that to yet another night, thank you for spending the time to read this and feel free to let me know what you think.