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Free agency timing could affect Flynn-Manning decision

Do you have a calendar?

If you don't, you're in for a sobering experience. If you have one, you probably already understand that what I'm about to share is truth.

The calendar says March 8th is precisely 17 days away and falls on a Thursday. That is the deadline by which time the Indianapolis Colts must either pay Peyton Manning his $28 million bonus or allow him to become a free agent.

Five days later, on Tuesday March 13th, unrestricted free agency will begin. That is ostensibly the first day Green Bay Packers quarterback Matt Flynn is expected to hit the open market.

Now that we've established those two facts, you might begin understanding where we're going ...

The facts are that barring a sudden and unexpected return to health in the next 17 days, Manning may quite possibly become available and no one will have any certainty he will be 100 percent recovered from his multiple neck surgeries and nerve problems when the deal is done. In fact, it's likely that no one will be able to even predict with certainty by March 8 that Manning will be 100 percent by the start of the NFL season.

Nerve regeneration is simply next to impossible to predict.

Teams will be able to look at the nerve response and strength charts and predict Manning will continue to get better, but know for sure? No way.

So get used to the idea that certainty is not something any team chasing Peyton Manning is likely to enjoy, assuming he's available.

And because of the timing of it all, it will be practically impossible for any team to go through a logical progression of decisions on Manning and Flynn. In other words, it will be impossible for one team to say, "We'll sign Peyton Manning if he's available and healthy and if he's not, we'll sign Matt Flynn."

That progression of decisions will probably not exist, again, because Manning will probably not be 100 percent in three weeks while he is on the market at the same time as a healthy and avaliable Flynn.

In cases where teams are dealing with two healthy free agents, they can bring both to town, check both out physically, and then make a decision on which best fits. But with Manning and Flynn, the team might bring both to town, and only one of the players will be healthy.

It's like shopping for a quarterback but comparing apples to oranges -- a healthy unproven young quarterback versus a veteran unhealthy proven quarterback.

Some teams won't chase Manning as a result, while others will pass on Flynn and gamble Manning return to his old form. The two play the same position. They will be available at pretty much the same time. But they are vastly different in what situation they must be signed under.

Either way, you're taking a gamble. Both require teams to project. Neither quarterback comes with the luxury of certainty.

The team signing Flynn won't know for sure he's a starting-caliber player until he does it for much longer than his two games worth of experience. The team signing Manning won't know for sure he'll be back to 100 percent -- until the season gets going and he proves it one way or the other on the field. It's all a million-dollar guessing game.

And here's another wrinkle: Because Manning isn't likely to be 100 percent, he might decide not to expose himself to visits and exams right away. He might decide to wait until he gets better.

So what does a team do then?

Do you wait on Manning and likely lose out on Flynn, who will sign with the a more aggressive team? Or do you pass on the possibility of Manning regaining his greatness for the chance to sign an unproven, young, but healthy an readily available Matt Flynn?

Flynn certainly isn't going to wait for Manning to be signed for him to sign. Someone will chase him and he will sign. That will leave the team waiting on Manning at risk because, well, what if Manning never gets better? What if Manning retires? What if he requires another surgery as Sports Illustrated speculated?

There is nothing that will keep teams from chasing both Manning and Flynn at the same time. I imagine you can bring both in and give both the once over and then pick based on which projection discussed above you're most comfortable with.

But the idea that anyone will have the luxury of knowing that Manning is definitely healthy or not before moving on to Flynn is not realistic based on the timing of things.

And even if Manning decides to wait to sign, a team must decide whether to jump at Flynn or not early because, again, he won't wait for Manning to decide where he's going. Flynn will simply go to the combination earliest/highest bidder who has obviously eliminated Manning as a possibility.

So this won't be an "If not A, then B" scenario." This will be more a scenario where a team makes priorities and then moves on those priorities accordingly based on an educated guess.

Comments

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This is not a tough decision. Peyton Manning due to his recent history and age is not a candidate for any QB spot in the NFL. Joe Montana was healthy when Kansas City brought him to town. That decision never worked out and neither will recruiting Peyton Manning. Peyton is most likly done as an NFL QB. He will be able to play for the local organized touch football league but not in the NFL.

Pat White is an analogy leading back to Griffin's size and willingness to run thru the D.

I think Montana was coming off a couple of injuries when KC(Peterson) took a chance on him.

badger,

You cant compare RG3 to Pat White. White was 180lbs soak and wet. RG3 is a man sized 220lbs. Had Ryan had the same collision with a 220lb RG3 instead of the puny 180lb White. It may have be4en Ryan Clark laid out and not RG3.

180lbs(White) and 220lbs(RG3), HUGE DIFFERENCE my friend. LOL

I still want to see his 'actual' size at the combine. I'm not sold on 6'2 220.

Badger - I do agree that at present, I don't see getting Grifin either. That said, big difference between him and Pat White. Griffin has a legit NFL arm and despite what a lot of people think, he really is a pass first guy...he doesn't just take off and run. He makes great reads when given the opportunity. A lot of his running comes from the lack of his O-line's ability to protect rather than designed run plays. As efficient a passer as White was in college, he was much more widely known as a runner.

RG3 is also crazy smart completing his bachelors in 3 years with a 4.0 and he will have his masters degree before the season starts. Smarts go a long way in the NFL, especially at QB.

I want to see his accuracy and the spiral come out of his (RGIII) hands. If he can do that consistently I'm sold. Love the athleticism and speed but I want a QB not Mike Vick

I want to see his accuracy and the spiral come out of his (RGIII) hands. If he can do that consistently I'm sold. Love the athleticism and speed but I want a QB not Mike Vick
Posted by: MiamiD20 | February 21, 2012 at 03:06 PM

_____________________________________________________

There's plenty of film on this guy doing just that and plenty of independent scouts say the same. Did you never watch a single RG3 game? Dude can spin it and is legit in that RE.

""A lot of his running comes from the lack of his O-line's ability to protect rather than designed run plays.""

Sounds like our o-line

I agree with the intelligence issue, no doubting that. If he learns to get the first down and get down, I will think he is alot smarter. If continues to challenge DB's in the NFL like in college it may get ugly( not to mention LB's ).

How come none of you are talking about Dick Johnson out of Indiana? Dick Johnson is this draft's hidden steal. Duh.

Not doubting his arm. He throws a pretty ball and I am impresses with his accuracy( especially on the deep pass).

No, I'm not one of those people that pretends I know college football; I saw that game-winning throw across his body but that's it. With that said college cornerbacks are easier to throw against compared to the pros

Impressed- my bad.

On the surface it does appear Washington and Cleveland are better positioned to get RG3. But it all comes down to what are we willing to give. Its not a question of who has more ammo.
Ammo only comes down to: "What Are We Willing To Give."
Posted by: Yesterday's Gone | February 21, 2012 at 02:10 PM

The problem is our #8 postion (maybe 9) is just not that desirable in this draft. If St. Louis doesn't draft RG3, they will want the prize OT in the draft, they won't get him at #8. No way do I see Ireland letting go of Long, the best player on the team.

Ooooh. First time I've disagreed with Aldon. Long is wildly overrated. In fact, he gets pancaked flat on his back 15% of plays.

Badger,

"If continues to challenge DB's in the NFL like in college it may get ugly( not to mention LB's )."

Tha can "EASILY" be coached out of Griffin. But whta clearly cant be coached are the intangibles that RG3 has. Those are the things that a guy either has or doesnt have.

RG3 clearly has tools thaty just cannot be coached. That's why I love this kid so much and would give the house for him if needed.

Ooooh. First time I've disagreed with Aldon. Long is wildly overrated. In fact, he gets pancaked flat on his back 15% of plays.

Posted by: Jiz | February 21, 2012 at 03:21 PM

He is still the best player on the team :)

Aldon,

#8-#9 is clearly a desirable position. Anywhere within the top 10 drafting order gives chance to land a true impact player. It just comes down to how well are we willing to dress up our position in attempt to trade up for Griffin.

Depending on what we are willing to add to our top 10 position could make it more desirable thjan Cleveland or Washington's position. Remember, the Rams would still be drafting top 10 which is always attractive. Just boils down to how well are we willing to dress it up.

That's cool, we just have a differnce of opinion on his draft value. That being said, it should be very interesting going into Fa and the draft. I'll get back with you later, going to hit some golfballs.

You have to consider your trading partner. #8 may not be good enough for St Louis who desperately wants the top OT.

I agree with Aldon.

Maybe it's been said, but St. Louis just may pick RG3.

In RE to RG3, as with the majority of rookie QBs, yes, there are potential pitfalls and question marks. But IMO, if you're worried about him being a Pat White, M Vick, Tim Tebow, V Young, etc....you're concerning yourself with the wrong things.

First, you have to look at the system. Those QBs played in option sytstems, which often result in eye popping numbers in college, but don't translate well to the NFL. M Vick has probably made the most progress in this RE, but it's taken him years to do so.

RG3 plays in a more traditional college spread offense. Often, this doesn't translate to the NFL so easily either, but much more so than an option system. There are a number of QBs who have played in the spread and had success and success early on to boot.

Concerns for me from watching games and footage:

Looks rather uncomfortable under center and wants to settle his feet to quickly, rather than taking the requisite steps in his drops.

Looks absolutely lousy in play action.

Pre-snap reads are shaky...often doesn't see the blitzer and make the hot read, often causing him to press for a play that isn't there.

Personally, I'm not all that concerned with his running. Even when under pressure, he keeps his eyes down field trying to make a play with the pass....he continues to do so when flushed from the pocket. Running is usually a last resort and in an effort to make a positive play for his team. Yes, he'll probably have to be taught to slide and live to play another down.

Pretty much all of that is coachable.

Mandi has a new post up. Just saying...

Aldon @ 3:38 - Very doubtful. They may be unwilling to trade.....because they really covet Kalil. But they aren't taking RG3, you can take that one to the bank.

Practice is only a small indicator of a guy's ability to perform on the big stage. I dont care what you see in practice, it doesnt officially certify what your qb will do over a 16 game season. You dont know that until he officially plays a 16 gtame season.

Posted by: Yesterday's Gone | February 21, 2012 at 01:29 PM

RGIII has 0 NFL practices under his belt and NO games played. So using your own criteria you have absolutely no idea what RGIII can do in the NFL.

Yet you want us to give up our entire draft?

Check and Mate. Get out of town.

Please DO NOT take Manning!!!!!!!!!!!! Take Flynn and let him compete with Moore. I would bet money that Moore will win. Trade down and pick up an extra 2nd and draft a QB to groom. Please DO NOT take Manning!!!!!!!!!!

Fins could win a SB the old fashion way with Moore.

Anyone remember the no-name defense?

Ravens and Bucs won thanks to their defense. They only had average QBs. Moore is way better than Dilfer and Johnson.

I can see the Fins getting the missing pieces in FA and the draft to improve their defense and fixing their o-line once and for all.

I'd like to see a QB competition regardless of the QB that's signed.

I still wonder if ROSS will sign Manning if Manning isn't ready to play when the season starts.

I don't think Peyton Manning should even be a consideration for us.Here is my resoning : 1)He has only 2 or 3 decent years left in him & thats if he dosen't retire.2)HE would probably pick the Arizona Cardinals over our team anyway.3) He will cost 3 times the money Matt Flynn would cost us.4)We would have to use our 1st overall pick on Ryan Tannehill for anyway because we would have no insurance well get Manning.

I don't think Peyton Manning should even be a consideration for us,because of 4 simple reasons 1)He has only 2 or 3 decent years left in him & thats if he dosen't retire before the season even starts. 2)He would probably pick the Arizona Cardinals over our team anyway. 3) He will cost us 3 times the money that Matt Flynn would cost us. 4)We would have to use our 1st overall pick on Ryan Tannehill anyway because we would have no asurance that well land Peyton Manning.

I don't think Peyton Manning should even be a consideration for us,because of 4 simple reasons 1)He has only 2 or 3 decent years left in him & thats if he dosen't retire before the season even starts. 2)He will cost us 3 times the money that Matt Flynn or any other QB would cost us. 3)We would still have to draft a high draft pick QB anyway,because we would have no asurance that we will land Peyton Manning or his health will hold up. 4)He would probably pick the Arizona Cardinals over our team anyway.That is 4 major reasons to overcome & Thats why I say Sign Matt Flynn out of free agancy or draft a QB PERIOD !!!!!

I don't think Peyton Manning should even be a consideration for us,because of 5 obvious reasons 1)He is not a west coast QB & he dosen't fit the current playbook that Philbin & Sherman use. 2)He has only 2 or 3 decent years left in him & thats if he dosen't retire before the season even starts. 3)He will cost us 3 times the money that Matt Flynn or any other QB would cost us. 4)We would still have to draft a high draft pick QB anyway,because we would have no asurance that we will land Peyton Manning or his health will hold up. 5)He would probably pick the Arizona Cardinals over our team anyway.That is 5 major reasons to overcome & Thats why I say Sign Matt Flynn out of free agancy or draft a QB PERIOD !!!!!

I say take Kellen Moore. He reminds me of Drew Brees coming out of college.

Posted by: scott coy | February 20, 2012 at 02:27 PM

DAMMIT that's what I been saying.

This is killing me. Peyton will go to the HOF, and Flynn seems so unexperienced. But if the Philbin says Flynn, you gotta believe he is the real deal. Otherwise, why would the coach practically stake his destiny on one guy if he wasn't the real deal. The other option, which none of us like, is go after Mario Williams, draft Tannenhill, start Moore, and then wait a year to go after Matt Barkley?

What kind of money is Flynn going to cost? Does he want top 5 money like Brady or Brees? or 30th place starting QB money? We take a chance on Flynn and it would be only for some signing bonus garrented, could be cap friendly, and we still have high first rd. pick to use or deal. A speedy WR would be nice. I love Manning just don't want to see him in a Dolphin uniform.

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