All that remains of the Peyton Manning melodrama is the signing of a contract, which means that all over the NFL, the final pieces are falling in place for other quarterbacks — particularly for David Garrard and Alex Smith, if not yet for Tim Tebow.
The Miami Dolphins, after losing out to Matt Flynn and Manning, found someone who, like Manning, missed the 2011 season. They signed Garrard, who was cut by the Jacksonville Jaguars just days before the season and then chose to have back surgery. Garrard got a one-year deal from Miami.
“At least he’s in a position to compete for a starting job,” Al Irby, Garrard’s agent, told the Miami Herald. “I think Miami got themselves a great quarterback.”
Smith, left dangling as a free agent by the San Francisco 49ers as they dallied with Manning, is still a free agent. He visited the Dolphins and presumably will re-sign with the 49ers, who — doh! — need a quarterback after losing out on Manning. Smith isn’t a terrible option; he did lead the team to a 13-3 record and an overtime loss in the NFC Championship game.
It seems as if it might be difficult, but Smith has been through worse in San Francisco, as Gwen Knapp points out, and the damage with the 49ers isn’t irreparable, Matt Maiocco writes. The Niners offer Smith the best opportunity in 2012 and team CEO Jed York says the ball is in his court. “We have a contract on the table, and it's up to him,” York said (via Comcast SportsNet Bay Area). “We'd like for him to be here, and we'll see where it goes.”
And, where might Tebow end up? The Broncos, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports, have taken calls about Tebow and would like to get a deal done quickly. ESPN’s John Clayton raises the possibility of New England, which the Boston Globe considers from all angles. Josh McDaniels, the man who drafted him in Denver, is the Patriots’ offensive coordinator and the team did meet with Tebow before the 2010 Draft. Green Bay has been mentioned, too, but isn’t likely to gamble on him. Still, some team should. Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio raises 10 less-obvious possibilities.
Tebow has shown the ability to rally a team and win games. Where’s the best spot for him? Is it possible it might be Denver?
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