Fans and Pundits Begin to Speculate About Peyton Manning’s Future

And so Peyton Manning's days with a horseshoe on his hat are seemingly over. The Indianapolis Colts were slated to announce Wednesday that they didn't feel much like paying the superstar QB a $28 million bonus after he sat out the entire 2011 season recovering from neck surgery. With the first pick in the upcoming NFL draft - read, Andrew Luck is a Colt - Indy seems confident about proceeding without the face of their team for the past fourteen years.

Before Manning and Colts owner Jim Irsay even faced the press at noon, speculation about the next destination for the Super Bowl champion began. Just past midnight Fox Sports' Alex Marvez listed seven possible destinations: the Washington Redskins, Miami Dolphins, Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs, New York Jets, and Denver Broncos in that order. Then in another post about seven hours later Marvez seemed to strike the Jets and Broncos from the suitors, listing Miami first. Now there's a guy with connections; he's apparently able to extract middle-of-the-night comments about possible player signings of players not even released yet.

Fans leaving comments on Fox' website were typically obtuse, hurling accusations of ignorance at each other, fretting about Manning's safety following multiple surgeries, and declaring, in one case, that the Cardinals were the best fit and the Seahawks the second best. In another case, a Dallas Cowboys fan opined that Manning should come to Big D. And so on.

The most interesting and possibly most authoritative comment, however, was delivered by stocks guru Jim Cramer as he appeared Wednesday morning on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street"; Cramer reported an e-mail, apparently received on the show's set, from former Chicago Bears linebacker and options guru Jon Najarian. I mean, pun intended, who could better comment on Manning's "options" than an options trader who once suited up in the NFL?

Hold on, I see a lady walking a dog across the street….

Najarian's view was that Miami would be a good fit, but that an interesting dark horse might be Denver, where Manning could teach Tim Tebow proper throwing mechanics.

Now that's something to think about, even if it is akin to thinking about making Michael Vick behave like Johnny Unitas.

The author, a long-time NFL fan, considers the frenzy over this story moot. He's a Steelers fan.

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Updated Wednesday, Mar 7, 2012