Handicapping the Peyton Manning Sweepstakes

The whole world is wondering where Peyton Manning will land, and for many of those folks, it’s more than an innocent rooting interest. We’ve got money on it. (Personally, I’m hoping he lands in the Canadian League at +1500 … come on, Argonauts, show him the money!)

Vegas offers some clues on his eventual destinations. Ricky did a great job of breaking down the contenders. I’m just going to offer a few thoughts on some of these teams based on the odds:

Miami (even)

As a guy in his 30s with a lot of nagging sports injuries, I can definitely understand the appeal here. Warm weather, great scenery, strong media market, a great WR, electric threat out of the backfield, great scenery, decent offensive line, close to home, and great scenery. I don’t like it much for even money, but if you could get +250 with a drunk in a bar somewhere, I’ll be right next to Peyton sipping a margarita watching barely-clothed women walking down every street with Will Smith’s non-threatening hip hop playing in the background.

Cardinals (+450)

Hate it. Peyton won’t want to go to the NFC, where he could possibly be the third-best QB in the conference behind Brees and Rodgers. Ditto for the Seahawks at +1000. Both teams could afford him, but that doesn’t mean he want to play in either of those media markets.

Jets (+800)

I wouldn’t take this bet at +8,000,000. Seriously, he’s going to go to a cold-weather team with precious little cap space and an entire locker room at each other’s throats and a loudmouth head coach with a foot fetish that somehow has to try to beat Brady twice a year just to win the division? My bet on the Canadian League at +1500 isn’t looking bad compared to this.

Broncos (+1000)

One of my two favorite bets on the board. It’s a cake division and offers a very real opportunity for a first round bye. The Broncos have made their desire for Manning public, which creates an extremely big PR problem with the pro-Tebow crowd if they don’t land him. So suffice it to say, the ownership will be motivated to sign him. And they have roughly eleventy billion dollars in cap space. Seriously, are they paying their players in goats and chickens or something? Denver could pay him what he’s actually worth, which is more than most teams can say.

Texans (+1000)

I love these odds. Easily the best bet on the board. He gets to play half of his games in a dome, he gets one of the league’s elite receivers and running backs, a top-notch defense and a warm-weather climate. Don’t sleep on the fact that it’s close to his home state of Louisiana either. The Texans instantly become the favorites in the AFC if they land Manning, and they’d be able to dangle Schaub as trade bait and likely get at least a second round pick. There really is no reason why he wouldn’t land here (other than the scenery in Miami).