Will Arizona Be Peyton’s Place?
The fans are anxious. And they are nervous. Some acting a little goofy. But all hoping. Moving back to NY from the dessert I have many many friends residing in Az and the anxiousness and anxiety hoping Peyton Manning will pick the Redbirds is interesting to note.
Fans all across the country needing a quarterback are just hoping Manning will consider them. As of writing this Manning has been in Arizona all day, spending more time with the Cards then he did with the Broncos. Not that this means anything but I am betting Larry Fitzgerald makes a good pitch. Then again Fitz pitched last offseason for Kevin Kolb and that hasn't gone well.
Truth is Kolb stinks and working in Az at the time I was one of the few if only media folks saying not this guy. Can't say with certainty I was right but it sure looks that way.
The Cardinals have many good selling points to pitch Manning on. Fitzgerald and some other talent to throw the ball to. An up and coming RB in Beanie Wells who despite injuries cracked 1,000 yards last year. A coach who proved with Kurt Warner if he trusts the QB he will throw it - alot! Of course the weather and natural beauty of the state and a passionate fan base. Great place to raise a family helps.
Here is what works against the Cards. A reputation of not spending money. This would have some merit but not totally true. The Redbirds have spent on free agency, although not always wisely. Cards ownership can be incompetent having covered them for many years but it did get better later on. Landing Manning will be the biggest coup for the Bidwills, maybe more so then getting a new stadium. Arizona also has a very soft media with a few exceptions. Not that Manning garners much negative press.
The biggest negative for the cards is a spotty offensive line which frankly hasn't been dominant since Joe Bugel was head coach many moons ago. This will be a key point for the Cards to over come. They also owe Kolb a big signing bonus come the middle of the month so time is not on their side.
The fans are anxious and hoping. Some said prayers at church today. Many are in disbelief that they even have a shot at the biggest free agent prize in NFL history. It wasn't that long ago AZ was the place to sign a contract and retire for all intents and purposes after the ink dried.
Lastly I can't help but root for this to happen. As my home for almost 20 years I have a soft spot for the Cards and the fans who have put up with tons of ineptitude over the years and misery and LOSING. This would be a grand coup and set a new day for Football in Arizona if somehow Fitzgerald and Coach Wisenhunt can pull this off. Plus it would deny the Dolphins and that makes me even happier!