With the news coming down that Peyton Manning has been medically cleared to play, the NFL world is abuzz and for good reason. Arguably the greatest regular season quarterback to ever lace up cleats might be on the open market for teams to court. One of those teams needs to be Kansas City.
I understand all of the arguments going against this move. "He's too old...who knows if he'll be the same...he's too expensive." None of this should even remotely dissuade the Chiefs from going after Manning quickly and aggressively.
Say what you will, but Manning makes Kansas City one of the instant Super Bowl favorites for 2012. He's going to be 36-years-old when the season starts. Even if he gives the Chiefs two or three years, isn't that worth the risk? This team hasn't seen a Super Bowl appearance since 1969, I'd say it's time to go for the brass ring.
Also, this move wouldn't cost nearly as much as some people are saying. Manning isn't a known entity right now health-wise, so while he'll command a good salary it won't be insane. Even if it's a little steep, who cares? It's not long-term and Kansas City has a ton of cap space. You don't have cap flexibility to sign Kyle Orton, you have it to sign guys who can put you over the top...like Manning.
Think about this for a minute. Peyton Manning under center, with Dwayne Bowe, Steve Breaston and Jonathan Baldwin flanked out wide. Then add Tony Moeaki on the end of the line and Jamaal Charles in the backfield.
I don't care what defense is across the field, they have to make a brutal decision. Drop into coverage and hope that Charles doesn't torch them, or blitz Manning and single cover all the receivers. I will take my chances with that setup any day of the week.
If Manning did come to Kansas City, the only big need would be the offensive line, which they could address in both free agency and the draft. Even the most pessimistic Chiefs fan would have to admit the team is absolutely loaded.
The defense would know that if it gave up less than approximately 24 points a game, they're winning. With the way the were looking by the end of the season, that won't be difficult to achieve.
Normally I always want to build through the draft, but this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Scott Pioli could still draft a quarterback and let him learn while Manning finishes his career.
Sometimes, you just need to go for broke.