The Seahawks are one of several teams who will try to sign free-agent quarterback Peyton Manning, according to a team source, but it's going to take a good sales pitch to get him.
Speculation the Seahawks could pursue Peyton Manning is becoming a reality. Seattle will be one of the teams trying to land Manning, a team source confirmed Wednesday.
The Seahawks’ interest was hardly a secret. It was also reported by Peter King of Sports Illustrated, and the NFL Network said the Seahawks were preparing to reach out to Manning as soon as he was released by the Indianapolis Colts on Wednesday.
The Seahawks aren’t alone, with predictions that at least six teams — and as many as 10 or 11 — might be suitors.
Consider the Seahawks an entrant in what is almost certain to be the most heated multi-team pursuit of a player since defensive end Reggie White left Philadelphia in 1993.
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During Manning’s news conference to announce his departure from the Colts, the quarterback said he hasn’t thought about where he’d play next.
That leaves lots of room for theorizing why he might come to Seattle. The Seahawks have the richest owner in the league in Paul Allen, a young, promising roster and one of the best facilities in the NFL. But would Manning choose to play in the league’s most isolated outpost in an outdoor stadium located in a city known for precipitation?
Depends on who you ask.
One former teammate saw a perfect fit. Raheem Brock played with Manning for eight seasons in Indianapolis before playing under Carroll the past two years in Seattle. He said via his Twitter account that Manning is exactly what Seattle needs.
“If Pete Carroll gives up some of his control and works with Peyton Manning, I think Seahawks are a perfect fit,” Brock posted on his Twitter account. “Super bowl contender!”
Receiver Doug Baldwin put on his reporter’s hat and passed along info.
“My sources tell me that Peyton is going to Miami and taking Reggie Wayne with him,” Baldwin posted on Twitter.
It’s clear already the coverage of Manning’s future is going to be bonkers.
After the news conference in Indianapolis, Manning flew to South Florida on the private jet belonging to Jim Irsay, the Colts’ owner. CBS Miami posted a picture from a helicopter showing Manning’s arrival. NBC 6 Miami posted video of Manning walking out of the plane to a waiting minivan.
So what’s next?
Well, that’s almost entirely up to Manning.
The Colts released him, which means he is free to negotiate and sign with other teams immediately. He is not subject to waivers. He does not have to wait until Tuesday, when unrestricted free agents can begin negotiating with other teams.
There is the question of his health. The 36-year-old Manning missed all of last season after undergoing multiple medical procedures on his neck, which included a cervical fusion.
He is also a historically prolific QB, the No. 1 overall pick in 1998. He won two-thirds of his starts in Indianapolis, appeared in two Super Bowls, won one of them and currently ranks fifth in career passing yardage.
There are teams that will look at him and see a player that can put them over the top and into title contention. Teams like the Miami Dolphins, the Arizona Cardinals, and yes, the Seahawks.
In nine years at USC, Carroll established himself as one of the nation’s top recruiters. Now as he prepares for his third season with the Seahawks, he has a chance to sell Manning on Seattle.
Danny O’Neil: 206-464-2364 or email@example.com.
On Twitter @dannyoneil