Much of the Redskins-Peyton Manning chatter that I’ve so dutifully been chronicling has concerned this question: Would the Redskins be interested in Peyton Manning. A great many reporters and pundits and random cockroaches to which I’ve attached microphones have agreed: yes, they would.
I guess the less-often posed question is whether Peyton Manning would want to play for the Redskins. Steve Young argued yes, saying Manning would be drawn to Shanahan’s offensive mind.
Sally Jenkins argued yes, too, and went into greater detail:
Shanahan is the only head coach in the market for Manning’s services who can say he’s won two Super Bowls, and knows how to work with a fully formed Hall of Famer. He can also say he has made real strides in rebuilding, despite the Redskins’ record. Their defense has shown vast improvement, a young roster exhibits real promise in some areas, they’ve made good additions on the offensive line with more on the way, have a record of smart drafts the last couple of years, and made some solid discoveries among undrafted free agents. Their only real personnel failure has been in finding a quarterback.
Not everyone is convinced. In fact, two people Sally and I have both worked with — John Feinstein and Jason LaCanfora — agreed on Friday that there is only one reason Manning would consider D.C.: cash. Lots of cash. Great big piles of it.
“I love Sally, but Sally really needs to not write about football. College football, fine, great, do that,” Feinstein said on the Junkies, suggesting that Jenkins’s relationship with Mike Shanahan is coloring her opinion.
Eric Bickel, the ringleader of this line of questioning, put it to Feinstein directly: why would Peyton want to come here?
“See, that’s the question, that’s a very good question, because that’s the one nobody seems to be raising,” Feinstein said. “You’re 36 years old, you’ve got a major neck problem, you probably only have so many hits left in you — why would you go to a team with a questionable at best offensive line, where the guy who’s most important to you sat out the last four games because he tested positive for recreational drugs, an organization that is constantly in flux?
“Other than Dan Snyder going into his wallet and giving him guaranteed money where other people are more likely to give him an incentive-laden contract, I can’t think of a single reason why Peyton Manning would want to come here....The only reason Peyton Manning would come to Washington would be if the money was so much better than anybody else. Because no matter how much these guys make, no matter how much they have made, it is still about money, not only because they want to put it in their bank account, but because it’s an ego thing like it is with everybody.”
Not long after, former Skins beat writer La Canfora was on the same program, and was asked the same question by the same host: Give one reason why Peyton would want to come to Washington?
“I can’t,” JLC said. “Other than throwing some kind of crazy cockamamie contract in front of him, I don’t see why Tom Condon would put Peyton Manning there, and I don’t see why Peyton Manning would want to go there. I mean, they’re still rebuilding an offensive line, there’s question marks up and down the roster, there are skill players right now of any merit. There just aren’t. I mean, Fred Davis is the game-breaker on offense, and the next time he gets caught smoking pot he sits down for a year. I mean, I don’t know how you sell him.
“Do you sell the facilities? You can’t. Do you sell the division? Well, does he really want to butt heads with his brother twice a year? Does he really want that sideshow and all that hype? Probably not. I don’t see it. You can’t sell the roster. The coaching staff, in two years they’ve won one less game than Jim Zorn.
“It’s a difficult sell, and I don’t frankly see it happening. I don’t see Peyton in a Mike Shanahan offense. I mean, you’ve got Mike and Kyle Shanahan who have micro-managed everything there? Are they really gonna turn it over to a 36-year old injured Peyton Manning and say yeah, call all the plays at the line of scrimmage, you run the offense, take over OTA’s, it’s all you Peyton, we’re just gonna sit back and watch?”
So that’s a no, and a no, I suppose.
Steve Young: “It’s all in place”
Theismann: “Horrific Idea”
Mortensen: Not horrific
Dilfer: “Very Realistic”
Gibbs: Needs Indy offense