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I'm a salmon swimming upstream on the Manning issue

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Dolphins are going to chase Peyton Manning if he becomes available in free agency. That is already decided. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross loves the idea of Manning and has established him as the offseason quarterback priority.

Manning first.

Matt Flynn second.

Drafting a quarterback third.

The Dolphins see Manning as a way to win games, sell tickets and become relevant again. Within their circle of power, they think Manning can do for Miami what Joe Montana did for the Kansas City Chiefs in the early 1990s -- and if you don't remember, that included one failed trip to the AFC title game in Buffalo.

So why am I against the addition of Peyton Manning?

Let me count the ways:

He is a huge injury risk. Huge! I'm not so much worried about his neck, which has undergone three surgeries in the past 20 months and is clearly a big issue. I'm not worried that a Rex Ryan blitz or Vince Wilfork would catch Manning in precisely the wrong position and injure his cervical spine that has undergone three surgeries in less than two years. The risk of neck injuries are a fact of life for all NFL players.

I'm more concerned with Manning's much-discussed dead nerve condition that has affected his triceps in his throwing arm and has weakened his ability to throw. I was told Sunday that Manning's arm strength has diminished by as much as 40 percent as a result of the weakened triceps muscles. And I was told the issue wasn't just to the point where he can throw on game days, but there would be legitimate worry he can throw four or five times a week.

If you know Manning, you know he relies heavily on building an instinctive relationship with his receivers. He wants them to see what he sees. He wants to know how they run their routes and he wants them to know where he's likely to place the football. The only way to gain that is to throw to them -- a lot.

But there is doubt he could throw day after day even if his nerves regenerate because the muscles in his arm could fatigue more easily than they once did.

But put all that aside for a second. Seriously. Cast that to one side and suppose for a second that Manning's arm will eventually be capable of working about as well as it did when he was in his prime. The fact will remain he won't be in his prime with Miami.

He's 35 years old now and will be 36 next month. That's about the time Dan Marino started his precipitous and sudden decline. Montana, too. Troy Aikman was done by age 34. Steve Young was done by 38. Warren Moon had his last excellent season at 36 although he hung on a couple of more years, toiling in mediocrity.

The fact of the matter is if Peyton Manning plays in the NFL in 2012, he would be the second-oldest starting quarterback in the league and that assumes that Matt Hasselbeck will be starting for the Tennessee Titans -- something the Titans are prepared to change because former first-rounder Jake Locker will be coming into his second season and is the future in Tennessee.

So unless Hasselbeck wins a starting job, Manning might be the oldest starting QB in the NFL.

What about that fact suggests a long-term solution to Miami's quarterback troubles? Oh, that's right, nothing! 

The fact of the matter is if the Dolphins sign Peyton Manning it will be because they cannot solve their QB problem the tried and true way -- through the draft. They will have admitted they cannot identify a potential franchise QB at age 22 or 23 and have the conviction to draft that player, develop that player and win with that player for years and years. They will be saying they must instead take someone else's discarded quarterback, one whose best days are behind, and gamble he still has something left in the tank to serve Miami's desperation.

This is akin to treating a deep wound with a band aid. The band aid may stop some of the bleeding for a short time, but it will not help heal the wound. It will not keep the wound from becoming infected. The Dolphins quarterback situation is a deep, deep wound. And the only way to heal the hurt is finding a player that can fill the spot and play it at a high level for the next 7 or 8 years, not the next year or two ... maybe.

Now, I understand the allure of Manning. You see the possibility and think the Dolphins would be adding Manning in his prime. You see the possibility and think he would make the Dolphins instant contenders and get them to the playoffs. It is a gleaming vision of the possibilities.

I say to you all that shiny stuff reflecting in your eyes is fool's gold. The Dolphins have been down this road before. Four years ago, having no answer at quarterback, the Dolphins turned to often-injured Chad Pennington who fell to them like a blessing from the sky.

And it was good for one season. Pennington's great play led the Dolphins to the 2008 AFC East championship. It was fun. But it was fleeting.

NFL games have a way of finding a man's weakness and Pennington's surgically repaired shoulder was eventually exposed just as Manning's injury will eventually be exposed. And when that happened, the Dolphins were left right back where they started -- looking desperately for a franchise quarterback that they didn't spend a high enough draft pick to select.

(The fact Pennington helped Miami to an 11-5 record also pushed the team well to the back of the pack in the ensuing year's draft.)

That's what would happen if Manning comes to Miami. If Manning signs, the pressure will be on to win now. We'll be in win-now mode even though the coach is new and has a bit of a honeymoon period coming. He will have to produce and general manager Jeff Ireland will have to surround Manning with as much talent to win now as possible.

That means addressing must-haves -- like a right tackle and a pass-rusher. That probably means not drafting a quarterback in the first round because Matt Moore is still under contract and that, along with Manning, is enough use of resources at one position.

So, again, the Dolphins will return to all-in mode with a quarterback that needs to be in that mode because his time is running out. Except the rest of the Dolphins roster isn't ready to be all-in. The rest of the Miami roster needs significant upgrade along the right side of the offensive line, at tight end, on the defensive line and possibly in the secondary where a nickel corner and free safety are needs.

It simply does not fit. And so, I predict, if the Dolphins go with Manning, they may have some short-term gain (at best) but have again set themselves up for more long-term pain -- like 2008 and the years that followed. History repeating.

I know, I know, many of you are all in on Manning. If he comes in and wins a division title, you'll be happy with that. Some of you think he might even win a Super Bowl in Miami in his declining years even though he won only one in 14 years with Indianapolis while he was in his prime. (I admire your ability to dream.)

Me? Give me a free agent chase of a great pass rusher. Give me a trade-up for Robert Griffin III or the selection of whatever rookie QB the personnel department gets most comfortable with. Give me the signing of 27 year-old Matt Flynn even. Get me some more improving and building for the long haul. Get me the short-term pain in exchange for the long-term gain.

I know I'm in the minority. I am like a salmon swimming upstream and the Miami plan and the Miami fans are big brown bears waiting in the middle of the flow to swallow me because of my opinion.

That's fine. Let's talk in two or three years when we're right back where we started and you're screaming for a young QB and a new coach and a new GM -- again.

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Most white, middle-aged men are in their prime earning years and engaged in productive work at 3:30 in the afternoon on a weekday.

Then there are the others...

Dear Mr. Odinseye

"immitation is the highest from of flattery"

I believe this to be true.

"I once thought I was a lobster swimming in my Bath Tub. But that was the 70's and things were "Different" back than."

"Just drink a lot of Orange Juice and get some sleep. You'll feel all better by tommorrow."

Did you take my stash of LSD tabs with the Keep on trucking dude printing on them ?

I've looked everywhere...( shaking fist at Mr. Odinseye)

Soiled :)

P.S. Dolphins good, Patriots bad...sports talk

I'm not for the Manning move. I would prefer they not make that move.

If RG3 falls to you then you take him, not a fan of giving up the farm to get him.

I like Moore 95 QB rating over last 9 games.I'll take that.

Go with hopefully a star pick at 9. Knowing our luck all the solid star picks will magically be gone at 9 and we will have to reach.

OK, since you're playing the 'I told you so' card, how about we dig up the story where you said the Patriots were done for. Their roster was aged and Miami's was young. The Patriot's days of dominating the AFC East were over. (oops!)

And Also to Aloco, Should'nt they be the "Ape-City Monkeys"? What in the heck doe's Donkeys have to do with apes?

NH, I accept your point (on Ross having a dog in the fight). I'm just saying I think he'll likely allow his people to do their job. He doesn't seem like a Jerry Jones-type to say, "I want Player X, over your hesitation, so make it happen." I see him saying, "I want a franchise QB, now make that happen" and allowing Ireland (with help of Philbin) to get the person they best see fit to accommodate his desire.

Maybe not though, maybe Ross is controlling this whole thing. I'm not privy to the inner workings of the franchise.

sad but true, manning just isnt the answer. hes basically done. get flynn.

FPFG, MONKEYS SLING POO AT PEOPLE, THAT WHY OPRAH DECIDED TO NAME THEM THE DONKYS, DONKYS DONT SLING POO.
(BUFFET OF KNOWLEDGE)

Flynn = A.J.Feeley

Is it me or is Aloco and Soiled Related?(No Offence Soiled) But you both should be writing for SNL.

Stroker, I guess my suggestion of not reading me didn't pique your interest. So, tell you what I'll do. When the blog question isn't about the QB position, I'll "try" and pull myself away from my favorite topic and discuss the topic at hand, in accommodation of you (since that's just the type of guy I am).

OR, if you would like to introduce a non-QB related topic, I'm happy to discuss it with you at length (or in short, if brevity is your thing).

How's that work for you?

I really hope you are not in the minority, because I know that in NY, (where the base for the Dolphins is fairly strong considering...), that I am surrounded by fans who want Manning.

I hate the idea. For starters, Indy was in our division when Manning came in and I seem to remember as he was rising and Dan was falling from grace, that it was Indy who gave us headaches. In NY speak, this is like Tony Romo coming to town to play for the Giants. There are just some things you can't do and that is one. On Principle in my opinion.

Second, Be it Culpepper, Pennington, and for other teams, McNabb, Favre, etc. etc. These guys thrived under long standing systems and coaches, that when the dynamic dissolved, so too did the quarterback. I have always said a team beats talent, and that just means when you know what to expect from the people around you... it is easier to succeed.

I am not as much on the injury band wagon, because frankly, even when we had Dan he went down in 1995 with an Achilles issue, and let's face it, in this sport, everyone is one hit away from a career ending hit. I doubt that LT is on Mr. Theisman's Christmas Card list if you follow. That said... yes, I would believe fully the odds of Manning having injury issues is well above others back there.

I am a huge backer of Flynn. I actually began barking up that tree last year. I thought that over Orton, we should have offered Green Bay something to get him then. Mostly with the leverage that they could get something for him, as opposed to losing him to FA.

I think Philbin, Flynn, Riley Reiff in the first round, and possibly a tightend along the way... and the Offense is good. That opens room to address the secondary and the pass rush.

I hope we don't go for Manning. I hope we go for Flynn. I have spent too long hating Manning, I have spent too long hearing him compared to Dan. I watched him shoot down Dan. I just could not put 110% behind him. I could not root for him like I could for someone else.

I don't feel like you can brag that you won, if you have to sell your soul to do it, and even then possibly fall short.

ODIN, TELL US ABOUT THE BETTY FOOD CLINIC?
(BUFFET OF KNOWLEDGE)

flynn is the answer, 27 ready to enter his prime age. do the right thing and sign the kid

"FORD"

Dear Mr. FP4FGG's

I would to think of Mr. Aloco as Bubba to my Forrest Gump, but just like Lt. Dan asked if we were related, as Forrest stated, we are not of relations.

Soiled :)

RG3 is not Cam Newton and even shorter than Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers. What it would take to get him would also set this franchise back just like signing Manning would. And if he doesn't work out in the pros and that's a big if we would be sunk for years with what we gave up.

Flynn may be our best bet but that is also a lot of money for unproven. In his case though it's only money and he could be cut.

No easy solution but I don't think Manning is that much riskier. It's only money also.

RG3 is the most dangerous proposition as he may be a slightly better Pat White when all is said and done. Leverage our next 2 to 3 year future on this - I think not. I would maybe for Luck or Barkley but not RG3 - just too risky.

There are simply not enough elite QBs to go around and no easy answers.

Again, Armando, I have to disagree with you. We get Manning and instantly, we are title contenders. That is what someone like him does to your team. Remember a past his prime Shaquille O'neal coming to the Heat. It made us instant contenders and we won a title. He was here like 3 years and left. But it didn't matter. I'll take that 1 title over years where we probably wouldn't have even gotten past the second round.

Oh and your injury concerns. You do know that Manning, prior to this neck injury, had NEVER MISSED A SINGLE GAME IN HIS ENTIRE CAREER, RIGHT? I hate how people are saying he's injury prone, when just a year ago he had active record of consecutive games played and was mr. iron man. Now he's mr. injury prone. Kind of funny how people are.

People forget what a competitor Manning is. And on top of that he's motivated to prove people wrong. The fact that he's willing to make his deal conditional shows that he knows he can still play. We would be dumb to not try to get him. Pennington came here, old and all, and took us from 1-15 to 11-5 and the playoffs. He, and he alone was what made that difference. What happened to the Colts without Manning? They went 2-14. And Pennington was never as good as Manning, so if Pennington got us to the first round of the playoffs, imagine where Manning can take us.

Dear Mr. Aloco/Bubba

Tell us all you know about shrimp recipes and shrimp boats....we all know you have a food fetish.

Soiled :)

Dolphins fan in the UK - Armando, I agree with you. Forget Manning and lets go all out for RG III .We can pick up so me of the other needs in either the later rounds or free agency.

fins manning is all of that good stuff, but hes not healthy and wont ever be again what he used to be. his arm is shot, u thought pennington had a weak arm, wait till u see manning now

I just don't see it....

I must be a long azzz way away because I don't see Miami chasing Manning unless the prognosis medically is brilliant.

The "why's" are so glaring that it explains my whole thought process. Armando already nailed all the "Talking points".... But I feel the reasons for NOT acquiring Peyton are the SAME reasons why Ross and Ireland may want to.

Of course they want to draw more fans... and have a "Win now" chance at winning "The Big one".... But DAMN... the cost of failure should Miami go ALL IN... would be tallied after first adding to the overwhelming sense of cynicism and mistrust the team suffers... taking this huge leap of faith and having it blow up in their face would be catastrophic... I'm not sure Philbin would even be on board for seeing his first HC job explode in a twisted mass of molten metal,,,

At LEAST with going after Flynn... or selling the farm for RG3... there is a look of Miami having a long term effort, a PLAN...

Not only ME... but i believe many others are on board for taking the couple years to get it right.... But a meltdown with a broke neck QB?.... Nope... the wheels will fall off on that one.

Forget Manning, Ross, don't even talk about it, Ireland.. Pick you guy... Flynn...???
RG3...??? No Matter which.... pick your man and tell us fans "This is OUR GUY"... get on board and lets go win a Superbowl.... I'll come with ya!!!

Mondo, I don't think you've ever written an article that I've agreed with more than this one. What I find surprising and dismaying, are the huge numbers of Fin-fans who can't see it.
I'm not sure, but I believe the Fins have only drafted two QBs in the first round... Griese and Marino. 'nuff said.

Omg people think to damn much!! It's football guys.. Try to sign manning if we do draft Oline with our first pick ok then the rest of our pick would be strictly defense !! And were good .. I been reading all these comments and it's funny to me.. Let's stay simple smart and let's win now! If we can't get manning we get Flynn if not him we keep Moore and bulk up the O line and get a good tight end and defense .. Can't over think things.. Dolphins are not far away from contending. Draft a right tackle get one of those QBs manning or Flynn or Moore and draft all defense from second round on also singn a free agent tight end and that's all!!!!!! We will make the playoffs next year trust me dolphins are not that far away !!!

Matt Flynn would be an upgrade for the Fins. Peyton Manning would be a significant upgrade for the Fins however. Dolphins can also pick a QB through the draft to develop while Peyton is playing his remaining years here. Note: Aren't many good QBs in the draft, Fins may even be able to wait for next year.

Again, Armando, I have to disagree with you. We get Manning and instantly, we are title contenders

Posted by: fins1 | February 06, 2012 at 03:42 PM

I Like the energy here, Though its in a Bazzaro world, Even getting Brady, Brees, Manning would'nt help us past a 10 and 6 season with a first round bye loss. Just saying.

PAY ATTENTION: No one knows Flynn like coach Philpin and hes doing the right thing and saying nothing. as far as learning behind a great QB who was mannings back up in Indy? as far as the QBs in the Draft No one knows how they will do, Bradey was a 6th rounder and only got a shot when Bledso went down. so Ill support the Team and coach and let them do there job.

GO FINS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

good for what brandon ? one year?

If Flynn wa any good the Packers would sign him and trade him.

Dear Soiled,

"Did you take my stash of LSD tabs with the Keep on trucking dude printing on them ?"


Do you mean those little squares with Mr. Natural on them?

The ones where he's dressed in a yellow robe?

The long full white beard?

Ah.............NO.............I haven't seen them anywhere ;)

I agree with you Mando. Most of my friends think I'm crazy for not wanting Manning, but I don't think it's a recipe for long term success. Losing in the first round of the playoffs isn't good enough for me. RGIII is very attainable. The Rams will trade that pick. There's no reason we can't outbid Washington or Cleveland for him. I know everyone thinks that's a long shot, but that's only because the Phins haven't had any balls in the past. Now is the time to grow those balls Ireland. I'm not big on Flynn, but if we get him it's all Philbin's deal. He will sink or swim with him.

why would flynn sign with them for them to trade him,lol when he can pick wherever he wants right now

Will someome please buy a Dolphin ticket?

Damn ryt let's get manning he said already he would sign a contract with no money upfront and if he can play then he will of course get paid so he's saying that they would structure a contract around his health witch I love!!!! Let's get him and we got nothing to lose we keep moore here draft a right tackle and defense sign a FA tightens and let's win now!!!!!!!

GOOD POST GWT, I SURE THAT PHIPIN WILL DO THE RIGT THING. REGARDLESS WHAT THE DONKYS SAY.
(BUFFET OF KNOWLEDGE)

All those Peyton non beleivers shouldn't read Shefter's article on ESPN right now.

odds are out on gambling sites, 4-1 manning signs with miami, 3-1 washington, 2 to 1 arizona. anyone but us please. keep that noodle arm away

whats it say mark besides manning should sign with miami? im not an espn insider

Hey, a new role for Miami...the Graveyard for Quarterbacks past their prime...they can retire to Miami like all the other seniors

Odin, You may want to go back to The Betty Ford, All your posts contain Substance abuse. Just saying. Again welcome back.

Dear Mr. Odinseye

"Do you mean those little squares with Mr. Natural on them?
The ones where he's dressed in a yellow robe?
The long full white beard?"

"Ah.............NO.............I haven't seen them anywhere ;)"

Yes the Mr. Natural tabs.....Well if it wasn't you them maybe it was Mr. Aloco...he always seems to be trippin

Soiled :)

Armando, this is a great column, and addresses many of my huge concerns with chasing Peyton Manning. What about another one: Peyton has played in exactly ONE offense his entire pro career. The Dolphins don't run that system. Unless the Jets generously let us have Tom Moore (and I'm not holding my breath on that one), Peyton is learning a new system. Who knows that he fits that system? This whole mess is a repeat of the Culpepper fiasco. Let someone else blow half their cap on Peyton and take their chances on him. Flynn is the man to pursue. He's young, healthy, and knows the new coach's system (and has enjoyed success in it). Ross is sounding more like Daniel Snyder. Bedazzled by big names and throwing tons of money at them, caring little if they fit the system. Flynn is a far smarter bet. Can our team do the right thing just once?

your a fuking douche Loco

love listening to boston talk radio up here today. The curse of the fins it is.. Seau-no ring.. Sammy Morris-no ring. Wes Welker-no rings. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

larry izzo, rings u can do that with any team

remember when miami signed cris carter, thats what it would be like with manning, that was a joke

not since 2007

Peyton is healthy lol wow are people stupid?? His nerves are coming back slowly lol his kneck is 100% healthy !! Lol wow well I'd take a 75 % manning over Moore Flynn and rg3 any damn day.. And your worrying about the system
Lol he's the damn smartest qb next to Tom Brady and you don't think he can learn a new system?? Wow dude lol with mike Sherman we would have one hell of an offense omg

Welker is taking a beating here. Maybe he will become a FA. HA HA

TOP 5 THINGS THIS BLOG NEEDS
#1 More Soiled
#2 Winning team
#3 A Franchise QB
#4 Less drunks
#5 A Blog without a drunking Odin.

brandon wake up, his arm is beyond weak right now and not improving

Well written and that makes sense. Did anyone watch the game last night. The quarterbacks played real well but the defense on both teams played great. Manningham's catch was fantastic on a ball that wasn't thrown that well. And Welker missed a tough catch on a ball that wasn't thrown that well.
While good quarterback play is essential, you need a great pass rush and good defense and a line to protect that qb. You also require a run game.
Signing Manning would be great play but it certainly won't get the Phins to the big show.

welker is a free agent, and bradys wife ripping the pats wrs is hilarious

Found This On Jeff Ireland(at Baylor):

"At Baylor, Ireland was known for making difficult kicks but missing the easy ones. Against Rice University in 1991, for example, he made a 58-yard field goal, then missed field goals of 43, 45, and 27 yards. Baylor, a 20.5 point favorite, lost the game by three points".

Wow, this sounds eeringly similar to his Dolphins gm career. He's more likely to hit with a late pick, than earlier ones.

Guys I asked this at 11 am, Was it me or did the Pats only run a "No Huddle" Offense only once?, Or was it the Beer?

kindry manninghams ball wasnt thrown well!?!//a/?1//s/sz/????!?!?!? that was a perfect pass, only place he could of put it. eli is damn good

We can all play with the idea of getting a Elite QB but that is not going to win any more games that Matt Moore is going to do. Our biggest problem wasn't scoring it was the other teams were scoring too much. We need a Pass Rusher and a few more weapons to throw to. Matt can throw fine. The WR just don't catch them. Mark my words if they get a new QB nothing is going to change.

no huddle was like 10-12 times that is it

yesterday u sure are digging deep

So what is Adam saying on espn?

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