Peyton Manning future: Is it in the Cards, or with the Dolphins?

Peyton Manning future: Manning has many NFL suitors. But two teams may be emerging as the best fit for Peyton Manning's future services: Arizona Cardinals and Miami Dolphins.

Michael Conroy/AP/File
In this Dec. 2, 2011 file photo, former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning listens to a reporter's question in the locker room at the NFL football team's practice facility in Indianapolis.

Now that the Peyton Manning-Indianapolis Colts era is officially over, a number of  NFL teams and fans are salivating at the thought of Manning lining up at quarterback for their team in September.

Right now, it appears that two teams, one from the AFC East, and one from NFC West, could be the top contenders for Manning's services.

The Miami Dolphins have been searching for a franchise quarterback ever since Dan Marino retired after the 1999 season. For those that are counting, the post-Marino era has included 16 starting quarterbacks in 12 seasons. Marino said this week Manning would be a good fit with a number of NFL teams.

"He's one of the best to ever play the game at that position. So wherever he ends up playing, if he's healthy, which is going to be important to Peyton, I'm sure he wants to go out there and play at a high level. Wherever he plays, he'll be a huge impact for that team."

Manning owns a home in Miami Beach and the thought of throwing to Brandon Marshall and potentially his old Colt teammate Reggie Wayne could persuade him to sign with the Dolphins. Wayne let it be known that he'd be willing to go to Miami if Peyton was going there.

“I could see it,” Wayne told Michael Irvin of WQAM radio in Miami.  “I’m definitely not opposed to it, you know?  He’s a great worker, and I consider myself a great worker.  And when you put great workers together, good things happen.  Me being in his trail going to Miami?  I would love it.  I would definitely love it.  I am totally available.  My phone is working.  Make sure you put that out there, my phone is working.  I paid my bills ahead of time, just so we have no problems.  So I am ready for anything that comes right now.”

Across the country, the Arizona Cardinals want to get back to the Super Bowl, where they last played with Kurt Warner as quarterback in 2008.

With wide receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Early Doucet along with tight end Todd Heap to throw to, Manning would have viable offensive weapons at his disposal in Arizona. Clearly, part of Manning's calculation is which team is the best fit and on track for a Super Bowl season.

Adam Schein at FoxSports.com, says "Manning, according to different sources, has put out feelers about the Cardinals. He is very intrigued by playing with Larry Fitzgerald and bringing [Reggie] Wayne along as his wingman."

Even head coach Ken Whisenhunt's agent thinks the Cards have a shot of landing Manning.

Elsewhere in New York, there's speculation that Manning could join his brother Eli, who just led the Giants to a second Super Bowl title, in the Big Apple as the new Jets quarterback.

Before Wednesday's announcement that the Colts were cutting Manning, a former NFL quarterback mentioned the Jets as a potential landing spot.

"...there's a turf war in New York. The Giants just won the Super Bowl. The Jets are fighting for every inch of space they can get in the newspaper. How do you get that inch? How do you get the headlines? You sign Peyton Manning," ESPN NFL analyst Ron Jaworski said.

Seattle is another player in the Manning sweepstakes as the Seahawks have the salary cap space to bring him to the Pacific Northwest.

Folks in Tennessee, where Manning went to college, have launched a website (comehomepeyton.com) to help entice him back to the Volunteer State to play for the Titans in Nashville.

Manning isn't likely to let the speculation go on for too long. He has said that he'll make his decision in a week. He wants to start getting reps with his new team as soon as possible.

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