Less than one full calendar year after the Arizona Cardinals traded for ex-Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb and were able to see potential in backup John Skelton after Kolb was injured, the news that Peyton Manning is about to hit the open market has at least one Cardinals player ready to clear the deck for No. 18.
Dockett first went on his Twitter account and wishfully threw out this headline: "Peyton to AZ!!!!!!"
He then expounded on that thought: "Look yall, I like all our QB's, I don't care who the QB is we are gonna win the west either way! but damn who wouldn't wanna play w/ peyton!"
We're not sure how mollified Kolb and Skelton will be by that explanation, but that's probably not on anybody's mind right now.
Dockett then called into the NFL Network's Los Angeles offices and stumped for everybody's favorite impending free-agent quarterback.
"I don't have anything against our quarterback we have now," he said, comparing the upcoming ManningWatch to what happened when LeBron James was available to any NBA team. "I feel confident in him. Who wouldn't want to play with Peyton Manning?
"We are a team that is a few pieces away from getting back to the big game. We got a perfect fit for him in Arizona. He can get his number and I'll get him parking passes, free donuts on Saturdays. I'll make sure my guys clean his cleats up real well. I'll give him all my connections, even my barber.
"He'd get to play in a dome, the weather's nice for him, our coaching staff is tremendous ... we're a few pieces away from getting back into the playoffs and doing big things. He'd have arguably the best wide receiver in the game in Larry Fitzgerald, two good running backs, a proven defense. I mean, why not?"
Dockett knows of what he speaks. Drafted by the Cardinals in the third round in 2004, the elite defensive lineman had to go through a few years of franchise suckitude until the team gave the reins to Kurt Warner, who had been released by two different teams before he made Arizona's offense his own. In his fourth NFL season, Dockett was playing in Super Bowl XLIII, and his Cardinals played the Pittsburgh Steelers very close in an eventual loss. The Cards may not have all the pieces to get back to the big dance right now, even with Manning, but Dockett knows full well how much closer a great veteran quarterback can get a team to that window.
We can expect several Manning sales jobs from other players on other teams, but it has to be said -- if Manning doesn't choose the Cardinals, it won't be for lack of effort on Darnell Dockett's part.
- Peyton Manning
- Darnell Dockett
- Arizona Cardinals
- Kevin Kolb
- John Skelton