Friday, March 16, 2012

Manning and the 49ers

By: Brian Sanchez

Peyton Manning talking to Alex Smith after a Colts win over the 49ers 
It seemed like the 49ers were going to be destined to have Alex Smith behind center once again for better or for worse.  Fans begged the 49ers to go after Manning and it seemed like they wouldn't.  I heard a lot of "I can't believe the 49ers won't go after Manning".  I would hear this, while being skeptical about the durability of his neck, and ask, "How do you know the 49ers aren't going after him?  Just because the 49ers go after him does not mean they have to go public about it."
     They really seem to want Peyton,  but at the same time they don't want to estrange Alex Smith.  This is a smart move.  If you do end up having to sign Alex Smith you don't want him to come in mad at the organization.  He worked hard to get himself to be an average QB and a little drama could derail his progress.  Also, the QB market in free agency is so poor that if Smith goes somewhere else they could be left up a creek without a paddle.  Then they would turn to Buccaneers back up QB Josh Johnson who played for Harbaugh in San Diego.  The Niners might not want to let it come to that.
A concept design of the new Santa Clara stadium
     But now we get to financing.  Can the 49ers afford Manning?  Absolutely.  Even after inking Carlos Rogers to his new 4 year $31 million contract the 49ers have $18 million in cap room.  They also have a new stadium coming in 2014 in which Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News reported via Twitter, "I've been told the 49ers could add well more than $100M in increased revenues starting in 2014, if stadium is done by then."  That's a lot of money and could lead towards matching the alleged contract offered to Manning by the Denver Broncos of 5 years at $90 million.  So monetarily the 49ers can make it work.

Potential Manning weapons:  Crabtree (left) and Davis (right)
     Now, why should Peyton choose to rock the red and gold?  Well, if he wants to win a ring and catch Eli the 49ers are the obvious choice.  They have one of, if not the best defense in football with all starters returning from last year.  A servicable group of WR lead by Michael Crabtree and now including the Wild Card of Randy Moss.  A top line group of TE in Vernon Davis and Delanie Walker, which are nightmare matchups.  A running game with Frank Gore that can take pressure off of Manning.  A solid offensive line that will be improving with a new RG instead of Chilo Rachal.  And most importantly on the offensive line, a great set of blind side protectors in Joe Staley and Mike Iupati. Phenomenel special teams which will win the field position battle and convert field goals when Manning can't get it all the way into the end zone.  He is human people.  He'll have the opportunity to open up the new Santa Clara Stadium.  I also believe he is not the kind of person that wants to play the Colts a lot.  He loves that franchise which is a problem for the Tennessee Titans.  How about the guy he worked out with yesterday?  That's right, before he worked out with the Broncos today he visited the 49ers and Coach Jim Harbaugh.  Harbaugh is a fiery personality who can combine his brilliance with that of Manning and really make them Super Bowl favorites.  There are a lot of reasons for Manning to come to the city by the bay.

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