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Manning Stock : Have the Dolphins Bowed Out?

With the recent trade of Brandon Marshall from the Miami Dolphins to the Chicago Bears many believe the Dolphins have now voluntarily withdrawn from the Peyton Manning race.  It would seem that Miami did in fact drop the ball but is there more to this story?

The Denver Broncos feel they have the best shot at Manning.  Denver was the first stop for Manning on his recent visits with teams afterall.  This could be the best indicator of his ultimate decision.

If you read through some of my earlier posts (click here) on my predictions for where Manning could end up, you will see that I have predicted he would go to the Miami Dolphins.  Did the Dolphins stock drop with the trade of Marshall?

I believe there are two answers to this question.  They obviously contradict each other but it should be noted that one of the answers no one really seems to be talking about.

Answer #1: Yes.  Manning is now discouraged from going to Miami.

With the trade of Marshall, the Dolphins now have no proven number 1 receiver.  It should also be mentioned that Marshall is a pro bowl receiver.  It is true that Manning likes to spread the field and have many targets but it is essential to have that threat that Marshall gives you.

Answer #2: No. Manning told the Dolphins he is signing with them but with conditions.

What was the one overall “elephant in the room” condition for Manning?  Get rid of Marshall!  You need to understand that Manning’s understanding of the game is huge!  I can only hope to know a percentage of what he knows someday.

His visit with the Dolphins on Monday was to let them know that he is signing with them.  That is very simplified obviously but to speculate more I believe Manning has complete leverage.  Exactly what he wanted, and that’s exactly why he visited with those other teams.

Condition #1

Like I said, he wants Marshall gone.  Marshall is a huge distraction in the locker room and has made his thoughts known on new coach Joe Philbin.  Marshall may be a pro bowl receiver but if you remember how Terrell Owens disintegrated a locker room it is easy to understand Peyton’s demand.

Marshall’s issues in the past with the team are well documented.

Condition #2

Manning holds all the leverage, especially because multiple teams are wanting to sign him.  One way he is using this leverage is that he is making it clear that he is not performing a workout.  This presents an added risk to signing a player who just had neck surgery and sat out a whole season.  But this is Peyton Manning we are talking about here!

Condition #3

Manning wants total control over the offense.  Picture this: if you were the head coach and Manning potentially was going to sign with you but he said he wanted to make all of the decisions, would you?  Keep in mind when he says make all the decisions, he means not only play calling.  He also means being in control of trades and signing free agents.  He also wants to influence who they draft.  My answer is still yes.  Especially if you’re the foundering Dolphins!

So, as the head coach, you decide you still want Manning and you want to show him a measure of good faith.  What do you do?  Get rid of Marshall now!

When you think of it in these terms, I believe answer #2 is the actual scenario that is unfolding here.  Brandon Marshall, the All-Pro wide receiver, is traded to the Bears for…third round draft picks?  Huh?  This makes no sense!  Unless you are doing it to appease Manning.  The Dolphins knew that Bears quarterback Jay Cutler would want Marshall and initiated the trade.

The Bears should have given up more than two third round picks for Marshall but since the Dolphins proposed the trade, the Bears have all the leverage.

I still predict Manning will go to the Dolphins but the Denver Broncos could be a close second.

Let me know what you think.  Comment below and don’t forget to subscribe (above left)!