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How Many Teams Will Go After Peyton Manning (If He's Available)?

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We've all been reading the stories that out right now regarding Peyton Manning and his future with the Indianapolis Colts (if you haven't, read it all here). As Kansas City Chiefs fans know, Manning's name has been brought up around here, which is fine. It's still a little surreal to think that Manning may not be in a Colts uniform next year so it's hard for me to realistically look at whether it makes sense for the Chiefs to pursue him.

That said, there are plenty of teams, including the Chiefs, who should look at Manning if he becomes available. I went through the league and found that about half the league should be making a serious run at Manning if he hits the open market. (Will he hit the open market? We'll see what Rob Lowe says.)

In the AFC East, the Patriots are the only team that shouldn't be looking at Manning. The Jets should take him over Mark Sanchez, as should the Bills and Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Dolphins have already made it known that they'll be in the Manning sweepstakes.

In the AFC North, the Steelers won't part with Ben Roethlisberger. The Ravens probably shouldn't part with a potential longterm option in Joe Flacco, either. Andy Dalton is entering year two in Cincinnati and coming off a Pro Bowl so it doesn't make sense to make the switch there. That leaves the Browns, who would surely take Manning.

In the AFC South, the Colts obviously don't count here. The Texans have Matt Schaub so they likely wouldn't be involved in Manning. The Jaguars make sense for him even with former first round pick Blaine Gabbert there. The Titans are in a unique position with a veteran (Matt Hasselbeck) and a rookie (Jake Locker) so they probably wouldn't be inclined to break the bank for Manning (but it would make them an instant contender).

In the AFC West, the Chiefs, obviously, should be taking a look at Manning. The Raiders probably should as well but they're locked up with Carson Palmer. The Broncos should be willing to take Manning even with Tim Tebow. The Chargers are all set with Philip Rivers.

In the NFC East, the Giants have their own Manning with Eli. The Eagles are committed to Michael Vick and the Cowboys probably wouldn't be interested in Manning with Tony Romo there (but never count the Cowboys out). The Redskins are one of the teams a lot of people connect to Manning.

In the NFC North, the Packers have a guy who's not bad so they wouldn't want Manning. The Bears should want him but they're committed to Jay Cutler, same with the Lions and Matthew Stafford. The Vikings have Christian Ponder but their team is good enough to win right now with the right quarterback so they should be involved in Manning, too.

In the NFC South, the Saints and Falcons have their quarterbacks in Drew Brees and Matt Ryan and the Panthers won't move away from Cam Newton. The Bucs are in an interesting spot with Josh Freeman but this is Peyton Manning we're talking about.

In the NFC West, the Cardinals and 49ers should both be involved in the race to get Manning. The Seahawks definitely should as well. The Rams are likely out of it with Sam Bradford.

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