Dan Pompei of the National Football Post speculates that the Seattle Seahawks could be the frontrunner in the Peyton Manning sweepstakes in this morning’s Sunday Blitz.
Pompei: Based on the buzz around the league, the Seahawks could be the early frontrunner for Peyton Manning, assuming he is released. Pete Carroll needs a quarterback and is believed to have a strong interest in at least exploring Manning. The Seahawks could offer Manning an attractive scenario. They have a young team with some fine skill players to put around him. They play in one of the league’s loudest stadiums.
Manning wouldn’t be subject to the same kind of scrutiny in Seattle that he would in a lot of other markets. The Seahawks also could have a better feel for Manning’s medical situation than some teams. One of their team physicians, Stan Herring, who also is one of the country’s preeminent specialists for spine injuries. Herring is a member of the NFL’s Head, Neck and Spine Committee.
On first blush, I don’t think Manning makes sense for Seattle because of his age, and the fact that Seattle is looking for a long-term solution at quarterback. However, because the Seahawks are less desperate than other teams around the league looking for a quarterback and have a placeholder at the position in Tarvaris Jackson, they could wait longer for Manning into July and August, giving him time to get healthy.
Further, Carroll is in the third year of rebuilding the franchise, so he might be more willing to take a risk if he believes someone like Manning, if healthy, can push this team over the top offensively. It’s something I’ll keep an eye on when I travel to the combine on Wednesday. Don Banks of Sports Illustrated reports that according to sources Manning has had four neck procedures in the last two years.
Pro Football Focus ranks David Hawthorne as one of the top inside linebackers hitting free agency.
Doug Farrar of Yahoo Sports writes that lower numbers could lead to more team applying franchise tag designations.
More Pompei: Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus, a potential draft candidate for the Seahawks, says he plans on doing everything at the combine.
Charley Casserly of NFL.com has Seattle selecting Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick in his latest mock draft.