The Peyton Manning bandwagon picked up major steam in South Florida this week. An anonymous group behind the website ManningToMiami.com have bought billboard space near the Miami Dolphins' practice facility in Davie.
The billboard promotes the site, but with a doctored photo showing Manning in a Dolphins uniform, the message is clear: the Dolphins should try to acquire the veteran quarterback when he is released by the Indianapolis Colts early next month, as expected.
"How many wins is Manning worth?" the site's main page asks. "When's the last time we the fans have had an 'impact' quarterback?"
The site asks visitors to sign its petition to Dolphins management, and even sells a Manning To Miami t-shirt for $12.99.
This is not the first instance of Dolphins fans taking creative measures to get the team's attention. A group of bloggers arranged to fly a banner before the Dolphins' 2011 season finale imploring owner Stephen Ross to fire general manager Jeff Ireland.
ManningToMiami.com seems pretty convinced that acquiring Manning would be a major step forward for the franchise, but it is no sure thing that he can lead a Dolphins revival. Coming off of multiple neck surgeries, the 36-year-old Manning may struggle to regain his old throwing form.
Complicating things even further is the team's likely interest in Green Bay backup quarterback Matt Flynn, a free agent. New coach Joe Philbin was Green Bay's offensive coordinator last season, and reportedly "thinks highly" of him.
However, Flynn will become a free agent after Manning is expected to be released. Manning is due a $28 million bonus if he is still on the Colts roster March 8, meaning he should hit the market by March 7. Flynn won't hit the market until later next month.
Even so, it is telling just how much the Dolphins have struggled to construct any kind of passing attack in the past decade that fans are now resorting to probably futile gestures to influence team decision-making. We're not sure whether Dolfans should applaud the Manning To Miami group, or shake their heads in disgust that such a group is needed to point the team in the right direction.