Will Arizona be 'Peyton's Place'?
And that's the thing about rampant speculation: it's all good fun until someone gets their nose out of joint. In this case, Paulie Pigskin is referring to us here in the A-Z. Heck, I'd rather be insulted than ignored.
So, in response to AZ being summarily dissed and dismissed from the equation, Paulie Peyton will now put us on the Manning Map.
Why is Arizona the perfect place for Peyton? Let us count the ways…
Playing Conditions: Two words - controlled environment. Would Peyton welcome (heck, any QB) welcome 9 games per year (AZ + STL) minus the elements? Wait. A quick check of the 2012 schedule also shows the Cards at Atlanta and Minnesota. That's 11 games this coming season in a controlled environment for a QB who has played his entire career indoors. #Ding
NFC West vs AFC East (Mia/NYJ): Although the NFC West is much improved, it's still not the AFC East. Beyond the caliber of the competition, Peyton isn't itching to play potential bad weather games at Buffalo, New England and New York, right? #NoThanks.
AZ Offense: Coach Whisenhunt has proven that he can retrofit an entire offense to fit his personnel. Just like putting a hot rod ‘69 Camaro on blocks, the Cards coaching staff has already customized their scheme to fit the wants and needs of Kurt Warner. Simply put, the AZ offense has multiple parts that can be installed or eliminated based on the QB. #SkillSet
Fitz Factor: There's only one Larry Fitzgerald. At last check, Fitz resides in AZ after signing an 8 year mega- deal. Plus, don't the Cards have a need for a #2 WR? Hmmm. What are the odds that Reggie Wayne pulls a Jeremy Lin and sleeps on Fitz's couch? By the way, the Welcome Wagon now also includes a former Colts QB/WR coach - Frank Reich. #IndyWest
Lifestyle: Plenty of high-profile superstar athletes live amongst us here in AZ, flying under the radar in relative anonymity. Let's see, Peyton Manning has played his entire career in a one-newspaper town and AZ isn't exactly known for its headline-seeking media. And, if we're talking lifestyle, did we mention the ample sunshine and plentiful golf? #ResortLiving
Head Coach: Technically, Coach Whiz has already coached #18 - at a Pro Bowl as a member of the Steelers staff. Considering that they played at least one reported round of golf together last winter, we're going to presume the relationship is a definite drawing card. #ComfortLevel
Compensation: Remember, Kurt Warner reportedly earned $19M during his final season. In other words, big QB dollars have been paid before by the Big Red. #Precedent
Current QB Depth Chart: Kevin Kolb has been paid $12M. If released, the front office will consider it a sunk cost in the name of acquiring a Hall of Famer. In fact, when assessing long-term investments, what's the bigger injury risk: Peyton's neck/nerve condition? Or Kolb's future susceptibility to concussions? Either way, the Cards still retain their QB of the future - John Skelton - who not only went 6-2 last season, but might supplant Kolb this season anyway.
Offensive Line: Along with scorpions and Dallas Cowboys fans, this comes with the territory. Worst case scenario is that the Cards are unable to address their situation at offensive tackle(s). The good news is Peyton prides himself on his reaction time in reading and releasing, right?! #OccupationalHazard
So, where's the perfect place for Peyton Manning to celebrate his 36th birthday later this month?