Tuck: Where Should Peyton Manning Go?

Bob Allen of KTRK-TV in Houston is floating a rumor that Peyton Manning is “definitely” interested in playing for the Texans.  The Houston Chronicle’s John McClain has shot down the idea, but what Allen has to say below is interesting.

“Someone I know who is close friends with the Manning family says Peyton is definitely interested in possibly coming to the Texans,” writes Allen. Allen adds that Manning “wants to play on a team that has a chance of going to a Super Bowl,” and the Texans fit that criterion. “I know for a fact that he does have a definite interest in the Texans,” concludes Allen.
Is it true?  Maybe.  The message is completely believable though, right?  Manning wants to go somewhere he can win right away.  And Houston makes sense.  Call it the path of least resistance.  He doesn’t have many years left, who can blame him?  Here is my list of teams that Peyton Manning should have on his wish list.

– The Texans have a championship-ready roster.  The defense is stacked, even without Mario Williams, who was hurt this year and is the top free agent available.  The division, which they won, is the easiest in the NFL right now.  They have a solid running game, a great offensive line, and Andre Johnson for him to throw to.  QB Matt Schaub is coming off a linsfranc fracture that cost him the year and he is entering the final year of his contract.  But if you can upgrade to Manning, you do it.

San Francisco- The 49ers were an overtime away from getting to a Super Bowl this year with Alex Smith at quarterback.  They are clearly the class of their division.  They have the best defense in the NFL, that is young and in it’s prime.  The receivers aren’t great, or even very good, but they have Vernon Davis at tight end and smart coaching staff.  I am pretty sure a lot receivers would love to play with Manning for a chance at a Super Bowl.

Baltimore- The Ravens finally broke through against Pittsburgh, beating them twice and winning the AFC North.  Joe Flacco is a very good quarterback, but Peyton Manning is an all-time great quarterback.  The weapons are decent and defense is terrific.  As I’ve written about, the AFC is the easier conference to win.

Kansas City- A year removed from winning a wide-open division.  They’ll have a last place schedule this year, but finished 7-9 without Jamaal Charles, Eric Berry, Tony Moeaki, and had to use 3 quarterbacks.  It’s a young and talented team that might just be a quarterback away, especially in the AFC.

Philadelphia- The Eagles are typically a more stable than they were this past season, but they remain intact in the front office and on the coaching staff.  They are unquestionably talented, finishing in the top 10 in offense and defense this past year.  I know they have Mike Vick at quarterback and just paid him royally, but he struggles to stay healthy and who would you rather have?  It won’t happen, but I could see Manning being interested in it.