Culd the Los Angeles Rams sign Peyton Manning?

Posted Feb 4, 2016

Peyton Manning was one of the worst starting quarterbacks in the NFL this year. Indeed, FiveThirtyEight’s Neil Paine made the case earlier this week that he is statistically the worst ever to reach a Super Bowl. And yet, for a declining talent who has been widely tipped to retire after Sunday’s game, Manning does suddenly seem to be in very high demand.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter set tongues wagging in San Francisco on Wednesday when he reported that the Rams had held internal discussions about the possibility of signing Manning for their inaugural season in Los Angeles. The move would have an obvious marketing appeal - lending the team a boost in star power as it seeks to win fans in its new home.

But as Schefter’s colleague, Nick Wagoner, wrote, “that's about where the upside would end. Such a move just doesn't make a lot of sense.”

Wagoner observed that Manning had been outperformed by the Rams’ Nick Foles in 2015, and yet the latter player had lost his starting job to Case Keenum. He also raised the point that a young offensive line might be ill-equipped to protect such a static pocket passer.

“Through the years, we've seen plenty of all-time greats keep playing even after their primes,” Wagoner continued. “It's a right to which they're entitled. Heck, the Rams have even played a prominent role in such a scenario, employing Joe Namath for a final season in 1977. But if Manning wants to keep playing, it'd be best for both he and the Rams if he does it somewhere else.”

Even if the quarterback decides he is done playing, however, he might still have a range of different options regarding how to close out his career. Colts owner Jim Irsay told WISH-TV in Indianapolis that he would love to have Manning sign a nominal short-term deal so that he could retire as a member of the team with which he spent the best part of his career.

““I want him to and I’ve asked him to,” Irsay said. “I would love to have him retire as a Colt.”

Three more things you might have missed

- When Peyton finally does retire, he expects to need a new hip.

- Panthers safety Roman Harper is listing his own house on AirBnB for Super Bowl Sunday, with proceeds going to charity.

- Ron Rivera made friends with a police dog.


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