Houston Texans And Peyton Manning; Better Late Than Never


Peyton Manning didn’t help his case this past Sunday that he could still play despite his age. Going 26-of-46 for 211 yards and a touchdown, Manning received boos from his own home crowd, leaving most to believe that his time is up.

The next day, Jay Glazer of FOX Sports tweeted out that Manning had been playing with injuries to both of his quads – a partial tear in one, and a deep bruise in the other. Glazer stated that Peyton had been battling these injuries since the start of December – around the same time he began to struggle. And with that, the speculation began:

Does Peyton still have one more year left in him?

Now before I go into why the Texans should make a play for Manning, two things must happen in order for it to work:

  1. The Broncos must cut (not trade) Peyton
  2. Peyton actually has to want to return and not retire

These are two pretty obvious, but essential things that must happen for this scenario to even work. Both, however, are likely.

Jan 11, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning throws a pass in the second quarter against the Indianapolis Colts in the 2014 AFC Divisional playoff football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Broncos cutting Manning is, again, all just speculation. But let me throw out a number for you: $16.5 million. That’s how much the Broncos would save in cap space if they decide to part ways with Peyton. With Demaryius Thomas, Julius Thomas, Terrance Knighton, and a few others all being FA’s this year, the Broncos are going to need all the money they can get. That’s why it is very possible retirement isn’t the only thing that could separate #18 and the Broncos.

The only flaw in this is that the Broncos would officially be handing over the keys to the unproven Brock Osweiler. It’s always been apart of the plan for Osweiler to succeed Manning since they drafted him in the 2nd round three years ago. Whether or not they are ready to call his number is unknown, but the inevitable is rapidly approaching. And after parting ways HC John Fox yesterday, a complete rebuild seems to be imminent.

As for Peyton retiring, once again (you may start to see a theme here), it’s all speculation. Personally, I find it hard to believe that Peyton would deny a chance to play with a team where both sides have mutual interest, which leads me to the Texans. With that being said: Would Peyton even want to play in Houston? Would the Texans even want Peyton?

Glad you asked. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports tweeted that Manning “really wanted” to come to Houston back in 2012 when he was a FA, which is old news, but very important. The Texans, being the intelligent business minds they are, opted to go with Matt Schaub instead. Now, Schaub is somewhere in Oakland crying into a towel and the Texans are left with Ryan Mallett. Although the Texans appear to be ready to let Mallett to take the reigns, they may postpone his takeover if they see #18 on the market.

But would the Texans even benefit from bringing in the 39-year old veteran?

Before Manning injured himself, he put up 36 TD’s with 9 INT’s and 3,737 yards through 12 weeks. I’m no expert, but those numbers appear to be pretty good, and I think injuries to both legs would cause any quarterback to falter. But I’m no doctor.

The Texans struggles on offense have been viewed by most as lack of QB play. A healthy Peyton Manning can be the solution to this problem – at least for one year.

Aug 23, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) watches from the sidelines in the fourth quarter against the Houston Texans at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Texans defeated the Broncos 18-17. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

And that’s the biggest issue out of all this. If the Texans brought in Manning it would be for one season. But I want to take you back to 2009, when 40-year old Brett Favre took the Minnesota Vikings to the NFC Championship. The Vikings lost 31-28 in OT to the Saints, who eventually went on to win the Super Bowl.

The Vikings knew exactly what they were getting when they signed Brett Favre – one final push. One last attempt to see what a hall-of fame quarterback could bring to the table. And it almost worked. A few plays turning out differently, and the Vikings could’ve had a chance to play in the Super Bowl.

The Texans need to follow the Vikings footsteps: a small gamble with a huge reward. This franchise has accomplished nothing. Having two playoff wins against a team that hasn’t won a postseason game since 1990 is nothing to brag about. If there’s even a chance for Manning to make another playoff run, the Texans need to act on it.

It should also be noted that Peyton plays worse in colder temperatures. NRG Stadium has a retractable roof, so hot or cold, weather conditions wouldn’t play a factor. I’m just saying.

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The only downside that I can see with the Texans bringing in Manning is losing the opportunity to see what Mallett can do. If they can lock in Mallett on a two-year deal this offseason (giving him his shot in ’16), and bring a healthy Peyton Manning in for one lost hoorah at the right price, they would have nothing to lose. With this scenario, even if Peyton starts to struggle in the regular season, they could replace him with Mallett to see what he’s got.

And for those that disagree, I want you to ask yourself a question, and honestly think about it: Would the Texans get farther with Peyton Manning or Ryan Mallett next year at quarterback?

I rest my case.