Peyton Manning to the Cardinals? One NFL analyst thinks it’s possible

Jan 9, 2012, 6:38 PM | Updated: 8:23 pm

Are the Arizona Cardinals a QB away from being a
contender?

With the way the defense played late in the year and the
talent at receiver and running back, it’s hard to argue
against the idea.

With that in mind, along with questions about whether or
not Kevin Kolb or John Skelton will ever develop into the
QB the team needs, another option may present itself this
offseason.

The player, it so happens, comes equipped with a laser,
rocket arm. And a bad neck.

According to former NFL GM and current CBS NFL analyst
Charley Casserly, Arizona could be a landing spot for
Peyton Manning, should the Colts release the veteran in
the coming months. That, he said, is possible because the
QB is due a $28 million bonus that the team will likely
have no interest in paying, especially if the Colts draft
Stanford QB Andrew Luck with the top pick in a few months.

“One team I would watch: the Arizona Cardinals,” Casserly
said on Sunday’s show. “They can get out of the Kevin Kolb
contract, and also Ken Whisenhunt’s been down this road
before.

“A veteran quarterback coming at the end of his career,
Kurt Warner.”

Indeed, the Cardinals have been down this road before, and
for sure, it worked out well. However, would a couple
years of Manning be worth cutting Kolb, who is due a
rather large roster bonus himself, just one season after
trading for him?

In a word, yes.

But before you go and order your custom No. 18 Cardinals
jersey, there are a few things to keep in mind, not the
least of which is the fact that, should he be released,
Manning will have no shortage of potential suitors.

After all, Manning is just one season removed from a 4,700
yard, 33 TD campaign, so it’s not as if this is a guy on a
steep decline. The former number one pick has thrown for
54,828 yards and 399 touchdowns over the course of his
career, consistently leading his team to the playoffs and
winning one Super Bowl. All but a handful of teams would
be better with Manning under center, and while it’s
possible the Cards would have some interest in Manning,
there is no guarantee Manning will have any interest in
the Cards.

Assuming the 35-year-old gets a clean bill of health, the
Cardinals would be foolish not to explore the idea of
adding one of the greatest QBs the game has ever seen.
Manning has shown no signs of slowing down, and the idea
of pairing him with Larry Fitzgerald is enough to make any
Cards fan drool.

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