(Disclaimer, it's my first time with something this big. I know you'll be gentle.)
My my my, what an exciting 1st day of free agency!
By the time you're reading this, Hillis and Tolbert will either be in town or will be there shortly. No word on Law Firm, but the common theme around here is since he signed with the Pats during Pioli's tenure, he must be on the way sooner or later. AP HIve-think seems to say Tolbert > Bush > Law Firm > Hillis (with 2 and 3 interchangeable). Fine, get one!
Also confirming a visit (that makes everyone happy) is former Texans RT Winston. He's apparently got an ankle thing on, but should be good to go. He won't be cheap and there will be a bidding war for him, but we need to make this happen.
Insert something about a TE... nah, never mind.
BUT, as the title suggests, I didn't come here to talk about those guys (well indirectly but you get what I mean). After the jump I'll provide some delectable tidbits for those still hungry for The Man.Let me start of with saying I know we have gone through every argument possible for and against listening to the talking heads and tweets of the national sports media. For every "It's their job" and "They are trust-able", there's a "midnight deal of "The Top FA to the Eagles" and "Top HC visits KC" that slips through the cracks. It's a maddening endeavor reading any news these days regarding Mr. Manning. Those who have bought the ticket are definitely taking the ride. No sympathy for the devil indeed!
Let's get back to FA for a second. Look at all the WR moves! Jackson to the Bucs, Garcon (and maybe Royal?) to the Redskins, Miami traded Marshal to the Bears for a couple of 3rds (the Cutler/Marshal reunion might not feel so good after we get more info about what trouble he got into AGAIN), and Meachem to the Chargers (ugh). I'm sure I missed a few on accident, I know I skipped a couple on purpose, deal with it.
Edit: Marshal being Marshal --> http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/03/14/report-brandon-marshall-accused-of-slugging-a-woman/
We've seen that the Voice of the Chiefs is on board with this thinking: http://www.arrowheadpride.com/2012/3/8/2854493/kansas-city-chiefs-peyton-manning
Still waiting on word from Lenny? Lenny? Hello? (I still say no news is best in this case).
What does this tell us about prospective landing spots for Manning? Who's he throwing it to in Miami? Seattle? Broncos and Tennessee have 1 guy. We have 3 at minimum. More if we get Tolbert and get Dex in the mix. (drool)
Furthermore, with the Headscratcher Deal of the Day award going to Jason Campbell signing up to be Cutler's backup in Chicago and rumors of Orton to Dallas to back up Romo (DO THESE GUYS NOT WANT TO START?? I DON'T GET IT), it looks like 2 possible FA QB targets for the Chiefs are off the table. Couple that with Henne flaming out in Daboll's 'Phins offense last year and the FA pool gets slim. Could the Chiefs have their eye on Manning? (yes or we're screwed at QB)
Now, we'll clumsily segue to the "Look at all the talking heads finally giving us some credit" section of the post. (also known as the, "hey it's my first post and I can't format for the life of me so deal with it section")
The other day, a tweet from Doug Farrar all but resurrected the idea that the Chiefs are still in it. (let me just say now, we've never been out). But yeah, Dougy called a pal in the know in KC and said "The Chiefs aren't out of it either. Productive meetings between KC and Peyton's people".
In yesterday's MMQB, the illustrious Peter King said Houston and KC give Manning the best chances at a SB run. He, like us, can't figure out why the hell he would pick Denver over us. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/peter_king/03/12/freeagency/index.html#ixzz1p4DldNQG
Of course he goes on to parrot all the "reports" that Denver and Arizona are leading the pack. And breaks down pros and cons. Most outlets suffer from the proximity effect and are giving each and every stop on the tour a "front runner" status. Today's meeting in Tennessee predictably will result in Bud Adam's Blank Check sending a middle finger or two to all those teams "now trailing them" in the race.
Mike Florio has been pretty good to us saying, like King, with the Texans allegedly out, the Chiefs make the most sense. Here's an AP friendly link: http://www.arrowheadpride.com/2012/3/7/2852664/mike-florios-take-on-the-manning-situation-and-possible-landing-spots
Matt Williamson has SF over KC in an insider piece discussing best personnel and scheme fits. I'm not an insider, someone paste the text in the comments please. What I can see boils down to ZBS FTW!
Elliot Harrison (who?) at NFL.com had this glowing report on March 1st: http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d827505c3/article/mannings-perfect-match-exists-in-kansas-city
Mike, not Mike, of Mike & Mike picked us as his favorite landing spot a few days ago as well. Tarkus suggests looking at www.google.com for a citation. I suggest he shut the hell up.
There are others like Schefter who have said it makes sense on paper, but since there's nothing being said about it behind (or in front of) closed doors, he's sticking with par-for-the-course journalism. Fair enough I guess.
Baha threw it down the other day that he firmly believes we're in it to win it with Manning and I can't help but agree. There are currently 3 teams that do give me pause though.
- Denver: very quite in FA, like their confidently waiting for PM . This signing would be the absolute worst. Enough said. /Shudders...
- Tennessee: Money Talks and Homecoming Queen (yeah). I wouldn't hate this as much as Denver and I think Manning wants a SB not more $$, but who the hell knows. If Vic Lombardi is to be trusted (hmmm) he says: "Manning has become a BIG factor in the Manning derby. Wasn't supposed to be. It is." (ugh)
- And the Dark Horse Super Scary Contender is San Francisco. They were sooooo close to the dance with out any help from WRs. Well guess what, they just signed old man Moss and Brandon Lloyd is on his way to the city by the bay to see what's what. YIKES. The biggest problem I have is (cap-hits-be-damned) Alex Smith still hasn't signed his offer. DO YOU NEED A PEN? SIGN THE DAMN THING! FA IS AN ABYSS FOR YOU SON!
Should the expected-by-most, unthinkable-by-a-few of us happen and Manning signs elsewhere, that will suck. But guess what, if we land some of these FA targets and our boys come back ready to rock (and healthy) we are still a major force to be reckoned with (in the AFC West). I won't lose any sleep over it and will take my licks like a man for talking about it so much. But damn it, if we DO get him? I'm flying to Arrowhead, firing up the BBQ, and serving SO. MUCH. CROW.
Whew! 900 words for a guy most people don't even have us in the running for. Guess what, they should.
(side note: ask tomachop what he thinks of talking heads. Worth it!)