News has just broken about the soon to be release of Peyton Manning from the Indianapolis Colts, and we have to wonder where he will end up. Sure everyone will tell you that the Skins and the Dolphins are the likely candidates, but I just don't trust that those two teams will be shoe-ins for the position. Today we go through all 32 teams and see which teams really have the best chances to land Peyton. 

First off I think that there are four key factors to the decision:

* Money/Cap Space
* Championship Quality
* Competition
* Location

Obviously it shouldn't be a shock that a team wanting Manning will have to pay top dollar for him, but I think that the cap space to potentially build around him might be even more important. Signing Manning likely will mean that you will have to sign 2-4 guys (think Reggie Wayne) to support him from the Colts cast. Manning also isn't going to sign with a team just to play. He wants to compete for a championship, and he doesn't want to be on a team like the Colts that could win only 2 games without him.

With the potential of him playing on a talented team that is competing for a title, you have to also factor which division (or even conference) that he will play in. I'm not sold that Manning will want to play for a Miami team that has to beat a nasty Jets defense and a lethal Patriots team to make the playoffs. The Skins have to face the electric Eagles, the crazy Cowboys and the Championship Giants.

Finally you have to think location. Peyton played 14 seasons on a team in a dome in a division that featured teams from Texas, Tennessee, and Florida. He isn't going to play in Buffalo, Kansas City, or Denver to freeze his butt off each week. 
So where is he going? Well lets first throw out where he isn't going. 

No Chance

New England - No chance that he sits with Brady
New York Giants- No chance he stays with his brother
Green Bay- No chance he Discount Doublechecks
Carolina- No chance he stays with Cam Newton

Buffalo- Too cold, little talent, tough division
Pittsburgh- Big Ben not worth burning, division too tough

San Diego- Rivers not worth burning
Detroit- I think Stafford's job is safe enough, division a bit too tough
Atlanta- Matt Ryan's job is safe
New Orleans- Not worth burning their Brees tag cost to get Peyton for 2 years
Saint Louis- Team is ok with Bradford, little talent
Indy- You never know

Cleveland- The need is there, and the team has some talent, but too cold and a filthy division
Oakland- The team has some talent and an ideal division/location, but just won't happen
Kansas City- Too cold, good division, some talent but just not an ideal spot
Philly- A lot of talent, but won't want to compete with Vick, and a tough division
Jacksonville- Zero talent, but all else is a good spot. 
Cincinnati- Some good bits, but team can't turn against Andy Dalton
Chicago- Very little support, cold weather, tough division


Tennessee- On paper an ok spot, but just doesn't have 'that' feel to it
Minnesota- A chance, but just won't have the talent to catch Peyton
Tampa Bay- Some good assets, but just not talented enough of a team, and still building together
Seattle- Another ok spot on paper, but might not have enough appeal to gobble up Peyton
Arizona- I can't imagine the team giving up on their Kevin Kolb yet. All else makes it an ok spot

Baltimore- Would give the team an excuse to move from Flacco, but too cold and a nasty division
New York Jets- Gives team an excuse to replace Sanchez, but division sucks, and too cold. Insane drama pool
Miami- A near perfect fit for everything except the division
Dallas- Again lets a team move on from a good (not elite) QB. Tough division and an insane drama pool
Washington- Little talent and a fierce division. I just don't see the appeal
Denver- Sure it gives the team a way to hide from Tebowmania, but I'm not sold that the climate is 'right'


Outside of the fact that he would be in the same division, this is a perfect spot. A ton-10 offense, a top-10 defense, a great location and a great fan base. Sure Matt Schaub is a fine QB, but he is injury prone and is finishing up his contract. Peyton tossing it up to Andre Johnson might make for a 14-win team.

San Francisco

Alex Smith just won 13 games. Let me say that again. Alex Smith just won 13 games. The defense is lethal, the offensive line is elite, the run game is great and the receivers have some potential. Plug in Peyton, add a few extra tools and watch him crush the awful NFC west for the next three years.


I wouldn't be shocked to see 20+ teams contact Peyton to join them over the next few weeks, but I think there will be three or four real spots that he could end up in. Houston and San Fran would be perfect spots for him to land, but the Dolphins will be a realistic contender because they are truly a quarterback away from the playoffs. If I had to put money on it, I would pick Houston given all of the potential of the team.