Peyton Manning has not hit the open market as a free agent, and it's possible he never will. But in the event he does part ways with the Indianapolis Colts, his only NFL team, suitors are already lining up for the future Hall of Fame quarterback.
The New York Jets were linked to Manning earlier this month, and the Miami Dolphins reportedly are interested as well. The Washington Redskins could be the latest suitor, as a source familiar with the situation told The Washington Post the team would have interest if Manning is available and is deemed healthy.
One of the primary concerns is Manning's health after missing the 2011 season while recovering from his third neck surgery in 19 months.
âNo. 1, is he going to be released?" the official told the newspaper. "No. 2, is he going to be healthy? No. 3, at the end of the day, is he willing to come back and play in the NFL? We donât know those questions."
Rex Grossman earned the starting job for the Redskins this season, was benched in favor of John Beck, and then regained his starting job. Grossman finished the season with 3,151 yards, 16 touchdowns and 20 interceptions, tied for third most in the league.
Manning is due a $28 million roster bonus on March 8, but NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora reported the Colts decided weeks ago to eventually part ways with Manning.
On Monday, Cooper Manning said his brother was working hard to return to play next season.
The Post's source said Manning would be appealing if he's able to play next season, but still could be difficult to acquire.
âI think everybody would want Peyton Manning, if he was healthy," the official said. "Youâd be crazy not to want Peyton Manning if he was healthy. Nobody knows now if heâs going to be cleared to play. And if he is cleared to play, wouldnât the Colts either want him, or (pick up his option) and then try to trade him?â