Peyton Manning decision will have ripple effect

9:13 AM, Mar 19, 2012   |    comments
Peyton Manning (US PRESSWIRE)
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By Robert Klemko, USA TODAY

UPDATE: The Seahawks and Matt Flynn agreed to a three-year deal, somewhat simplifying the league's various QB issues.

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Peyton Manning's impending decision will have a ripple effect across the league, and has already complicated the travel plans of his fellow free-agent quarterbacks.

Between Denver, San Francisco and Tennessee, two teams may be looking for new QBs, and depending on how long Manning waits, the 49ers could be hurting for options. Miami and Seattle are also in the running for new QBs after being rejected by Manning.

Here are the passers most affected by The Decision, which is expected early this week:

Alex Smith: The QB who led the 49ers to the NFC Championship game during the best season of his career rejected a three-year offer from San Francisco, preferring a longer deal instead. He could get it with the Dolphins, whom he visited on Sunday. Smith will become the best QB available in free agency when Manning is off the board and figures to find a new team immediately after.

Matt Hasselbeck: Currently the starter in Tennessee, the 35-year-old already has second-year man Jake Locker nipping at his heels, and would likely be released if the Titans sign Manning. That would leave him with several options, including Miami, San Francisco and Denver, provided those teams don't make other moves first. Hasselbeck could also land in Cleveland, considering his familiarity with Browns president Mike Holmgren from their time in Seattle.

Tim Tebow: It has been reported that the Broncos would ship Tebow if they landed Manning, and could still move on from the third-year quarterback even if Manning goes elsewhere. No quarterback wants to be in a competition with Tebow, who has the ardent support of Denver's fans.

Matt Moore: The man who quarterbacked Miami for the majority of the season looks destined to be a backup, with the Dolphins hosting a new passer every couple of days. But the Manning decision could leave a number of teams, including the Dolphins, without their first, second or third choice.

Jake Locker: The second-year QB in Tennessee would likely stand a better chance of seeing the field in replacement of current QB Hasselbeck than he would if the Titans landed Manning. The investment in Hasselbeck is minimal, considering the team is ready to dump him for Manning. But the investment in Manning would more clearly relegate Locker to the bench.

David Garrard: The free agent was in talks with Miami during the season when Chad Henne went down with a shoulder injury, but ended up needing surgery himself and didn't play in 2011. He plans to visit Miami this week, yet Garrard is just one of several quarterbacks the team is considering.

Colin Kaepernick: If Manning chooses not to sign with San Francisco, Kaepernick would be the next man up for the 49ers. It's unknown if the team would pursue a displaced veteran such as Hasselbeck in such a situation.

 

USA TODAY

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