The Manning Minefield … Thursday Cup O’Chiefs

Gentlemen, start your wallets . . . the Peyton Manning Derby is underway.

The chase for quite possibly the greatest unrestricted free agent in NFL history figures to attract the attention of at least half of the league’s 31 teams that do not have a horseshoe on the side of their helmets.

Of those 16 teams, probably half will go through some discussion or planning on Manning and his possible role in that club’s future. As Manning goes through the process of deciding where he will continue with his football career, the number of teams will shrink and eventually there will only be a handful of teams still in the hunt.

Will one of those teams be the Kansas City Chiefs?

They should be; that’s what I wrote nearly a month ago when it became obvious that Manning and the Colts were headed for divorce court. The reasons then were as obvious as they are today – he improves the position, he will lift the rest of his teammates to higher levels of performance and he will generate badly needed interest in the team, meaning more ticket sales.

In the last month, there have been indications the Chiefs are involved in seeking Manning and hoping to create a new home for the quarterback. Confirmation – beyond Romeo Crennel’s slip at the NFL Combine about interest in Manning if he were available – will not come from within the organization. That’s pretty normal and generally that’s the attitude used by many GM and administrative types caught in very public situations; if they haven’t acknowledged being involved in something, then they always have deniability. It didn’t really happen.

You can bet that Crennel got an earful from GM Scott Pioli after his loose lips at the Combine. Yes, the Chiefs are interested, as they should be.

For their sake, the Chiefs must proceed carefully. The path to Manning goes through a minefield, one that can leave the franchise badly wounded if they take wrong steps. For the sake of the Chiefs Nation and those folks that buy tickets, club seats, luxury boxes and sponsorships, it comes down to this for Hunt and Pioli — if they want Manning, they had better make sure they get him. If they are going to step to the plate, they cannot afford to swing and miss.

They can’t lead the Chiefs Nation on the merry ride of chasing Peyton and then at the end shrug and say “we tried” when he heads off to another team.

The credibility of Hunt and Pioli is in question and the reasons for that we’ve covered ad nauseam over the last year. A combination of arrogance and ignorance has permeated the front office, generating a feeling of entitlement that the fans should buy whatever Hunt and Pioli are selling. Ultimately, the fans see the team’s record over the last three seasons, 21-27 and realize these football emperors have no clothes.

Whether the fans are from Missouri, or other parts of the Chiefs Nation, they are in the “Show-Me” mood. That doesn’t mean “Show-Me” you went after Manning. It means “Show-Me” you can get Manning fitted for a No. 18 red jersey.

Failure cannot be an option. The mere act of chasing Manning is not going to sell a single ticket. Only getting his signature on a contract will. There is first and there is last.

Not getting Manning will re-enforce the impression that Hunt and Pioli are unwilling to spend money, or are unable to battle on the highest levels with the movers and shakers in the NFL. Can Pioli get a big deal done with somebody other than his old boss in New England (Belichick) and his father in law (Parcells)? We haven’t seen much of that in three years. Listen, for Hunt and Pioli to go after Manning on the open market would take some big cojones, something neither one has shown in previous seasons.

Yes, it takes two to tango and no matter how much Hunt/Pioli want to get a deal done with Manning, it only happens if Manning agrees.

That leaves them at the fork in the road, where they must operate with the immortal words of Don Vito Corelone ringing in their ears. From the American movie classic The Godfather, Marlon Brando as the Don is talking with his godson Johnny Fontane about the singer/actor’s problems in Hollywood. Played by Al Martino, Fontane wants a part in a movie that the head of the studio will not give him.

The Don reassures Johnny that things will work out, telling him:

“I’m gonna make him an offer he won’t refuse.”

Clark Hunt and Scott Pioli better have one of those types of offers ready to go. If not the outcome of the Manning Derby for Chiefs fans is going to be as traumatic as finding the severed head of a horse in their bed.

26 Responses to “The Manning Minefield … Thursday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • March 8, 2012  - R W says:

    This is about as close as the wunderkind of Jr.Hunt/Pioli will get to being players for the services of Peyton Manning. Hunt Jr is too cheap and Pioli isn’t close to having the stones to close a deal of this magnitude. Now, if by some miracle of miracles they prove me wrong, I’ll be the first to come in here and eat a large helping of crow delight!

    That said, the Manning health issues have to be considered as he could be one head hit away from permanent retirement but that’s an acceptable risk in my view. If Manning himself is willing to take it, why shouldn’t a team?

    I heard a Colt’s player, Brackett I believe, say something telling about Manning and where he lands: “Whoever gets Manning, that team is going to get a lot better fast”. I’m all for it but reality tells me the Chiefs don’t have the owner/front office leadership to make it happen.

  • March 8, 2012  - txchief says:


    I live in Texas, and I’m defintely ready for the Chiefs organization to “Show Me.” I’ve shown my commitment by buying expensive season tickets for years and incurring the expense of travelling to the games. I speak to many other season ticket holders at the games, and everyone’s patience is wearing very thin. I won’t be satisfied watching Cassel hold the ball too long, miss reads and fail to find the open reciever for another year. If I don’t see Peyton in a Chiefs jersey this fall, Pioli and Hunt had better counter with RGIII. They know a franchise QB is what this team must get to win.

  • March 8, 2012  - el cid says:

    tx, reality may bite a big hole in you hopes. Gettin past Manning (media reports he is in southern Florida this morning, probably a vacation). The Chiefs are a team lacking the right 53 talent wise, depth wise, and in some cases starter wise. My solution, Hunt writes some checks and Pioli shows some skill in free agent acquisition. Somethimg, I would suggest, he has not done before. There is the fly in the ointment, Pioli will have to change the way he operates, will he?

  • March 8, 2012  - redandgold says:

    This offseason is the beginning of the end for Pioli. There is good FA & Draft talent and we have the money. If Pioli makes some noise and gets some good work done it could be the beginning of a great run for him and the Chiefs. If he sits on the sidelines and only signs people that no one has heard of it may be his last offseason for the redandgold

  • March 8, 2012  - Rich Davis says:

    We can afford him. And, we have enough money for his former team mates. We are in a good draft position and are in a relatively weak division—with Denver pursuing Manning.

    Manning better say “no” to a better offer from the Chiefs or this won’t go down well. And, as Bob says, if Manning turns us down, it will be a huge let down to go into the season with Cassel…..especially if Denver snags Manning.

  • March 8, 2012  - Niblick says:

    Rich-That’s my big concern. We very well could make the best offer but Miami has better weather, Manning has a home there, and they have similiar talent. They have an all pro LT and a defense close to ours. I feel we have slightly better offensive talent. I’m assuming Miami is our biggest competition based on the latest reports. We have more cap space but Miami can restruuture some contracts. He supposely prefers an AFC team. I don’t consider Denver a real competior. I also don’t see the Jets either.

  • March 8, 2012  - Petey says:

    Will Manning want to play against Brady and the Jets D two times a year?

  • March 8, 2012  - johnfromwichita says:

    Manning would be fun. Sell tickets. More prime time games. Playoffs and a chance for the Super Bowl. Time to aquire and prepare a francise quarterback. Two, maybe even three years. But it’s probably not going to happen. I’m OK with that depending on what Hunt does with the rest of free agency. If he ends the season with saving more money, then that’s all I need to know.

  • March 8, 2012  - txchief says:

    I don’t think Miami is more likely than KC, but you can’t do much to change the weather. Miami’s O-line allowed the most sacks (52) of any team last year, and one of Manning’s prime concerns will be avoiding additional injuries. The Chiefs allowed 34 sacks, but that stat is likely skewed by KC’s QBs holding onto the ball too long and Barry Richardson’s incompetence. I’m also skeptical that Peyton would want to deal with the antics of Brandon Marshall and Stephen Ross. The Chiefs definitely have more, and younger, offensive weapons that the ‘fins.

  • March 8, 2012  - txchief says:

    Good point Petey! Peyton probably wants to run across Brady only in the playoffs. Miami isn’t really poised to win with Manning immediately, and I doubt that Peyton would want to be seen as an inferior QB to Mr. Bundchen in the same division.

  • March 8, 2012  - Niblick says:

    txchief-Good points and Petey had a good point about wanting to face Brady and the Jets twice. Perhaps I’m being too pessimistic that we can get him, even with the top money offer. Many of the national media outlets have us in the top three as a potential spot for Manning. I would love to see it happen.

  • March 8, 2012  - jimbo says:

    If Peyton Manning is willing to play for the Chiefs. Scott Pioli will make it so.
    If Manning does not want to be a Chief, it will not be because of money or lack thereof.
    Go Chiefs.

  • March 8, 2012  - Petey says:

    I’m kinda thinking (maybe just hoping) so, Jimbo.

  • March 8, 2012  - David Rogge says:

    The salary cap is an issue unto itself and it seems apparent that the Chefs have the room to accomodate Peyton. However, regarding his impact on the bottomline profitability of the organization, he most likely is “self funding”.

    You heard it here first that I predict his signing would yield incremental season ticket sales of 20,000. That’s north of $20,000,000/year just for tickets. And then there are concessions, parking etc.

    If I can figure this out, I suspect Clark has too. Don’t be overly concerned about him being unwilling to pursue Manning. It’s like debating whether to bend over and pick up a $100 bill you find lying on the street!

  • March 8, 2012  - txchief says:

    Interesting update/leak from the Manning camp. He supposedly prefers the AFC, and does not want to play in DC. The Chiefs’ chances of landing just improved quite dramatically.

  • March 8, 2012  - txchief says:

    Interesting update/leak from the Manning camp: He supposedly prefers the AFC, and does not want to play in DC. The Chiefs’ chances of landing just improved quite dramatically. He’s not going to go into a situation where he plays his brother (DC, Dallas) or Brady (‘fins, Yets) twice a year. The Browns have already stated that they have no interest, and there is no way the Texans can afford him. And if he’s concerned about the weather, Denver might be the worst possible destination.

  • March 8, 2012  - txchief says:

    Sorry about the premature clickulation.

  • March 8, 2012  - Todd Frazier says:

    Everything said so far has been very logical.

    There is however something that no one has said that has crossed my mind all this past season:

    Why are the Colts so horrible without Manning as QB? They went from a contender to nothing in a heartbeat.

    The only thing that makes sense to me, is that they put all their eggs in one basket: Manning. The rest of the team is less than average without him.

    I’m not entirely sure that makes sense, with some of the names on that team. Saturday for one. Garcon is another. Still, their record was horrid this past year.

    What does this mean if our beloved Chiefs actually signed Peyton? Who knows. But part of the equation BETTER be that they don’t slack off on the other positions, or when he does eventually retire we’ll be worse off than we are now. That much is certain.

    Secondly, I’m curious what this means for Cassel and Orton if we do pick up Manning. Or would anyone care?

  • March 8, 2012  - ED J says:

    IF Chiefs fail to land Manning its not huge lost for Chiefs. Unless Manning ends up in Denver. I think if he goes to Dolphins then its not huge lost because most people had him pencil in to go there anyways. However if he goes to Broncos that means we face Rivers, Manning, and Palmer for the next 2-3 years that’s not good at all with Cassel as your starter. At that point I think Chiefs have no choice but to draft RG3. I mean if we lose out on Manning to Broncos we must do whatever it takes to get RG3 you can’t going into next 3 seasons with Cassel facing Manning, Rivers, and Palmer. Outside of that if we lose out on Manning to anyone else its not as drastic as Bob makes it out to be because after all its Manning decision not Hunt or Pioli.

  • March 8, 2012  - el cid says:

    I was not a huge fan of Manning but am getting into it. If Manning moves on, the Chiefs will pay football in 2012 and on, at least I hope they will. But we will be stuck with Cassel, a definite loss to me.Anyone actually believe Cassel will win us a superbowl? In the back of our collective minds will be “did the Chiefs try or what? are they the cheap ___ we argue among ourselves about” or “does anyone love us?” sounds stupid or immature but Chiefs fans are paranoid anyway.

  • March 9, 2012  - Niblick says:

    I just read that the Chiefs are the first team to offer Manning a full contract proposal. They seem to be moving quickly, which in the past, has always been a criticism of thier pursuit of free agents.

  • March 9, 2012  - Petey says:

    Where did you see that Nib?

  • March 9, 2012  - Petey says:

    I see it on, now.

  • March 9, 2012  - johnfromfairfax says:

    I’m with everybody on this one but I think you need to hold your water a while on whether the contract rumors are true or not. Not our style to be out in front like this to establish a base for negotiations. I think the best line about this rumor I read was somebody commenting on it who said, “the contracts been sitting on the floor in a back stairwell for a week.”

  • March 9, 2012  - Petey says:

    I saw that too John and I laughed….it’s just easy to get caught up in the mania of it all and dream about what could be, like playing the lottery on a $200 million jackpot.

    Teicher threw cold water all over the report on the Star and said there was no way we’ve offered a contract and if you believe that, that you may still believe in Santa….

  • March 9, 2012  - el cid says:

    Adam also suggest the Chiefs “had” to draft a OT “just in case they lose Albert next year”.

    Any team who plans their draft to cover who they might lose a year later will never be any good, they would be just treading water hoping not to drown.

    I have started to discount Teicher a bit. Also sounded absolutely flacking on the NFL Channel picking the first rounder for the Chiefs.

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