Will it happen? Will Peyton Manning make a visit to the Arizona Cardinals today as many have reported? Probably. Will he leave with a contract offer? Probably not. I can’t speak to what the Denver Broncos have or haven’t offered Manning to this point. I can tell you what the Arizona Cardinals can offer. In terms of opportunity, facilities, and city to live in, Manning’s decision should be easy to play here. However, as far as money and prestige go, that rules Arizona out.
Just the fact that Manning is making a trip to Arizona is something. Ever since it was suggested in early January that Manning could eye the Cardinals should he be released by the Indianapolis Colts, people have been speculating will he or won’t he be interested in donning a Cards uniform. Now is the Cards time to put on their sales hats.
Manning no question would be a good fit. The Cards would need to upgrade on the offensive line and add help to Larry Fitzgerald at wide receiver. I don’t think there has ever been an argument this is the Cards best pitch to Manning, about his opportunity.
The Cards have a very nice facility in Tempe. I helped the Cards open it 22 years ago when I worked for them, when they moved from the old East Phoenix High School, which of course no longer exists. So, I’ve seen the place brand new. Manning should be impressed. Other teams have used the facility when the Cards haven’t.
As for the city, well, I think we all know that is a huge reason why many professional athletes come here to play. The weather is great eight months out of the year and then when the heat is here in the summer, they just go back to their other homes in other cities.
The sticking point will be money. I guarantee the Cards will throw everything possible at Manning. They’d probably even be willing to cut a few guys to make sure the money is there for him. You won’t see that happen often. Fact is though, right now the Cards are only about $3 million under the cap. The money will need to come from somewhere.
Here’s to hoping for the best, but expecting Manning to land elsewhere when it is all said and done. I still say he ends up with the Miami Dolphins, although it sounds like Denver did a nice pitch job yesterday.