Could the Dolphins legend–if he’s so inclined–try to convince Peyton Manning to be his heir apparent in Miami?
NFL.com’s Jeff Darlington recently joined The Finsiders to discuss the possibility and to talk about the latest Manning buzz.
“Whether the Dolphins are involved or not, Dan Marino is a guy he both respects and considers a friend,” Darlington said. “Marino is in a position to lead Manning down the path that will lead him right back into this very facility.
“If that’s the case, it’s kind of coincidental that Dan Marino might find the replacement for him.”
For teams that do pursue Manning, his health will be a wildcard during the wooing process. Until a video emerged last week, there was only speculation on whether he was able to throw. And even if the tape quelled concern, and if Manning’s health is, indeed, improving, it’s something that needs to be monitored going forward.
“You’ve got four passes that were chopped up and shown, which seems to be pretty deliberately planned,” Darlington said. “If that’s the case, it’s important to know whether this guy is healthy or not, particularly when you’re investing so much money.”
Since he’s never been a free agent, it’s nearly impossible to try to project how Manning will handle the process.
“At this point, it’d be impossible to know because we’re trying to get into the heads of both Peyton Manning and potentially a dozen general managers around the league,” he said. “I don’t think it’s going to happen tomorrow, but I’m not willing to bet it won’t happen this weekend.”
While trying to determine if a potential team could be a fit, a team owner’s willingness to build a championship-caliber franchise certainly will be a key selling point, especially given the stage of Manning’s career and his pedigree.
“I think Steven Ross really does have what it takes to be a successful owner,” Darlington said. “If Marino has learned that over the years, it’s something he can project to Manning in a way few others can.”
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