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Peyton Manning Heads NFL 2012 Free Agency List
Photo - QB Peyton Manning
The Colts made the inevitable personnel move by releasing Peyton Manning this week prior to a bonus clause condition in his current contract began due. Manning has been the elite QB in the game for over a decade, setting countless NFL and Colt records. His resume includes a Super Bowl win and game MVP award, in addition to four MVP seasonal honors.
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Manning becomes the leading ‘Street’ free agent this year in a designation within Free Agency that has become the key additions to the open market just prior to the opening. Free Agency begins March 13th, though the ‘Street’ free agents are open to negotiate with every team now. Most ‘Street’ players are veterans with huge bonus clauses kicking in on their current contract that was back loaded. These veterans look for one more contract bonanza at the end of their careers.
Manning will command a huge contract with several clubs like the Dolphins, Redskins, Jets, Seahawks and Cardinals. His presence automatically makes his new team a Super Bowl contender if he checks out medically after four neck procedures. He will have to impress at workouts over the next few weeks and he has made definite progress in his condition over recent months. He does not have to throw a pass in anger until August/ September and is expected to be ready and give it his all for the NFL 2012 season.
The opinion here is that Manning will land in Miami and become the catalyst for a struggling Dolphin offense that has some key components – WR Marshall, RB Bush and LOT Long already in place. Several other FAs could follow Manning to Miami if he signs there like WR Reggie Wayne and center Jeff Saturday.
Manning heads the free agent QB class that should see a few command huge contracts. Other than Manning, Matt Flynn should be one of the biggest winners this offseason with a few multi million dollar contract offers. He has been Aaron Rodgers backup in recent years though he had two impressive games when asked to start. He should parlay those two games into the mega contract with teams not signing Manning in the forefront like Miami and Washington.
Franchise Quarterback: $14.4 million (down from $16.1 million in 2011, $16.4 million in 2010)
2012 NFL Unrestricted Free Agents
Peyton Manning - Colts
x - Drew Brees - Saints
Matt Flynn – Packers
Alex Smith – 49ers
Kyle Orton – Broncos
Jason Campbell – Raiders
Donovan McNabb – Vikings
Rex Grossman – Redskins
x - Exclusive Franchise Tag Player