In the past 48 hours, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning has managed to be one of the top stories in the NFL - even while his little brother Eli was busy winning his second Super Bowl with the New York Giants.
Eli's success aside, NFL watchers are on the edge of their seats wondering where his brother will end up if the Colts release him by March 8 to avoid paying a $28 million roster bonus.
The Sun Sentinel reported Friday the Miami Dolphins are on Manning's "short list" of teams he would consider joining this offseason.
Miami would certainly entertain the idea of Manning in Miami. He is not a long-term solution at quarterback even if he fully recovers from the neck problems that kept him out of the 2011 season. Manning turns 36 in March, he could very well have less than five years of football left in him.
But Miami needs a quarterback, and even three years of Manning could give the Dolphins enough time to put the other pieces in place to win a Super Bowl, as well as draft a quarterback they could groom after Manning's tenure.
But you'll want to read the rest of this before ordering a custom #18 Dolphins jersey with "Manning" on the back. The Miami Herald reported Sunday that any report of a short list is "asinine," according to a source close to Manning.
"The only thing [Manning] is concerned about at this time is getting back to being 100 percent so that he can play football in 2012," the source told the Herald. "That's it. Whether that's with the Indianapolis Colts or somewhere else, all he's thinking about is getting healthy."
One thing is sure: Manning is likely to play for someone next season. His agent told the NFL Network Friday "We expect him to play."
The Herald's source could be off base, or the Sentinel's could (or both - after all it was only a month ago that actor Rob Lowe tweeted that Manning was retiring, only to have his "report" refuted by Manning himself). But any attempt to suss out what Manning would do before he is actually, you know, released, is simply foolish.
If we've learned one thing from Brett Favre and LeBron James, it's that the media will report every possible outcome in a free agent scenario before any resolution is reached (already he is rumored to be joining the Washington Redskins). Regardless of where Manning ends up, he will still manage to disprove 95% of all predictions made about him in the process.