If you're looking to recruit Peyton Manning to the Miami Dolphins, you will have to stand in line at this point. Even if you're Reggie Wayne, the man who caught 787 passes for 10,748 yards and 69 touchdowns from Manning from 2001 through 2010. While LeBron James and Dwyane Wade have already asked that Peyton take his talents to South Beach on a long-term basis, and former Dolphins great Dan Marino is rumored to be willing to weigh in on the situation if asked, Wayne might be the dark horse in a Manning-to-Miami scenario.
Wayne went to "Da U," and the soon-to-be free agent talked with Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin (another Hurricanes alum) about Manning's past and future on Thursday. From what Wayne (an impending signable free agent who has heard nothing from the Colts) said on Irvin's WQAM radio show, he sees the quarterback-receiver reunion as a very happy one were it to happen in Miami.
"I think it'd be a good fit for him. He always had a crib in South Florida. It's less moving that he has to do. He's already familiar with the city. I'm sure that the Dolphins fans would love to have him here. I'm no agent of his, I'm just a lonely ex-teammate. I really feel like whoever gets Peyton Manning would definitely have a gem. He's one of the best if not the best quarterback in the league ever, in history.
"And in a Dolphin uniform? I can see that happening. I really can. I really think he'd enjoy it. I really think that the Dolphins organization would benefit from it, and it would be a hell of a battle in the AFC East, with the rest of those teams, and especially with a Tom Brady in there. So I can definitely see that in the works."
Well, that's a good sell job, Mr. Wayne. And what about your potential involvement?
"I can see it and I'm definitely not opposed to it. He's a great worker and I consider myself a great worker, and when you put great workers together good things happen. So me being in his trail onto Miami? I would love it. I would definitely love it. I am totally available, my phone is working. Make sure you put that out there — my phone is working. I've paid my bills ahead of time just so we don't have no problems. So I am ready for anything that comes right now. So I can definitely see that in the mix also."
Wayne also said that co-existing with temperamental receiver Brandon Marshall would not be a problem for him. In fact, in Wayne's mind, the only drawback to a Manning-Wayne-Marshall triple threat is what it might do to the NFL's competitive balance.
"Marshall is definitely one of the best receivers in this league, and it would definitely be fit to see us both side-to-side. And I've watched him in plenty of offseasons and watched what he's done on the field, and used some of the things that he uses as far as getting off the jam and being physical as a receiver. So I can definitely benefit from him also. So it'd be a great combination.
"Then you throw in Peyton Manning and a guy who knows what a defense wants to do before they even do it. So it can definitely be dangerous. It can truly be dangerous if they put us all together. So the league might not want that, Mike. They might not want to see that. South Florida, it's already hot out here, baby. So you put us all together it'll be burning up. So it would definitely be a sight to see if that would happen."
Wayne also wanted to address the (fairly ridiculous) notion that Manning couldn't quickly and easily pick up any offense in the NFL, and make it his own, no matter where he goes and no matter who goes with him.
And it certainly wouldn't hurt to have an old buddy by his side. Wayne may not have the jets he used to, but in 2011, he caught 75 passes for 960 yards and three touchdowns in an offense that was just about completely disabled by Manning's absence. Adjust those stats for Manning's presence, and you have one potentially fabulous free-agent bargain in the offing.
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- Peyton Manning
- Reggie Wayne
- Miami Dolphins