Elfin: Peyton Manning In Burgundy & Gold Makes No Sense

I have a mission today: convincing you that the Peyton Manning to the Redskins rumors that heated up last week thanks to a tweet by ESPN’s Bram Weinstein – a good guy and a former Washington beat reporter – are oh so very wrong.

Here are some of the reasons that Manning in burgundy and gold makes no sense:

1) Donovan McNabb. While Bram and other rumor-mongers might have forgotten, Mike Shanahan certainly remember how well his last major trade for a set-in-his-ways 30-something quarterback worked out. And McNabb was healthy and nearly two years younger then than Manning, who’ll be 36 in March and is trying to return after missing a year following neck surgery — is now. Plus Manning has been in Indianapolis’ offensive system for all 13 of his healthy seasons, two more than McNabb had been in Andy Reid’s scheme in Philadelphia.

2)  Manning and Shanahan are both perfectionists and control freaks. That’s a recipe for a bad marriage in a household or on a football team where the coach and quarterback are the dominant personalities. No quarterback of our time calls more audibles than Manning, something which would surely drive Shanahan crazy even when they worked sort of like when Steve Spurrier sulked when his Redskins won with a ground game instead of his beloved passing attack.

3) Now from Manning’s perspective. The man has been a winner virtually his entire career. Why in the hell would he want to play for a team that has suffered three straight double-digit loss seasons, hasn’t made the playoffs since 2007, hasn’t won a postseason game since 2005 and hasn’t been a division champion since he was a second-year quarterback way back in 1999? And let’s not even talk about Washington’s shaky offensive line, whose blind side pass protector, Trent Williams, is one failed drug test from a year-long suspension.

4) If Manning is going to play again because he’s such a competitor and wants to go out on his terms instead of because of an injury, then the first-ballot Hall of Fame lock is going to want to play for a team with a good chance of helping him win a second ring and go out on top. To me, that says San Francisco, which is just one home victory away from the Super Bowl, has a fierce defense, a fine running back (Frank Gore) and left  tackle (Joe Staley), good targets in Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree and whose quarterback, Alex Smith, is a free agent after the first good year of his seven seasons. Oh, and the 49ers are coached by Jim Harbaugh, who just happened to be Manning’s predecessor as the Colts’ quarterback and thus shares many of the same experiences and acquaintances.

Sounds like a no-brainer to me if Manning completes his comeback and leaves the Colts, neither of which is a sure thing. Manning to the Redskins just shows no brains.

David Elfin has covered sports since he was a junior at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School in 1975. He is the Washington representative on the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee and is the author of the new book: “Washington Redskins: The Complete Illustrated History.” A pre-game regular on 106.7-The Fan during the 2010 Redskins season, he returned to the station as its blogger in March.

  • ncapetanakis

    David, I don’t think Manning is going to leave Indy, but if he did – Washington would be lucky to get him, and all of your points are easily shot down. A little too easily:
    1) Shanahan’s last experience with an older, set-in-his-ways QB didn’t work out, but his experience before that in a similar QB situation with a named Elway turned out okay. Twice.
    2) With Dan Snyder as owner, Shanahan has next year to turn it around or he’s fired. Maybe that point is debatable, but ask the Redskins last 47 coaches first and they might agree. Shanahan, I think, could learn to love a nice 11-5 season.
    3) Manning is the winning ingredient. And this point can’t be debated. With Manning, Indy has gone to the playoffs in 11 of his 13 seasons. Without Manning, Indy is the WORST team in the NFL. The WORST. Peyton knows any football town he plays for has a shot at the Super Bowl. Washington is included in the list of any football towns.
    4) SF kinda has a QB right now. Are you thinking the 49ers are going to trade Alex Smith or bench him after the season he just put together? This point alone is so outside the realm of possibility that it makes me think your whole list is supposed to be easily refuted. Is that your game, sir?

  • cosmkdbree

    If Andy Luck is unavailable, I might look at RG3. Baring that, I agree with ncapetanakis. I understand the strategy in last years draft. Kerrigan and friends were a much better get than Gabbert. But now, Joe Gibbs is right. The team needs a quarterback. The Skins cannot win playoff games with two NFL back-up quarterbacks. I’ve been stating that publicly since before training camp. Sigh. But still, you can turn the Vinny years around on a dime. You can’t. He and Dan decimated the team with their buy the agents lunch philosophy. The ship is now heading in the right direction. Everyone should know that Bruce is a salary cap master, and I’m willing to give Iron Mike a few years. Where’s Gregg Williams when you need him? And BTW, who is this guy David Elfin?

  • Steve Norris

    Seriously folks. I’m not ready to fire Shanie yet, or even his son.

    And Elfin wants to send Peyton to San Fran? I can’t decide what Elfin is trying to say in the Redskins favor? Is he from Indianapolis? Or a San Francisco fan? I can’t decide. Someone please tell me.

    Me……I said it above. Go for Luck. Can’t get him, go for RG3. Peyton, if he still wants to play, is the next best get.

    Based on this article, I think Elfin should be the Niners’ next GM.

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