1. Alex Smith: So much had been made of Smith and the 49ers inability to reach a new deal recently that we should have all realized it was because of Peyton Manning. While the 49ers didn’t throw their hat into the Manning sweepstakes until the end, they where a serious contenders for his services after secretly working out the MVP quarterback last Tuesday. Apparently the lack of trust the 49ers displayed in Smith sent him on his own free agent tour, and like Manning before him, he took a visit with the quarterback starved Miami Dolphins — who put an offer on the table of $8-million a season. But now that Manning won’t be signing with the 49ers, Smith will likely end up back there once head coach John Harbaugh re-iterates his love for the former number one overall pick.
2. Matt Hasselbeck: While Matt publicly commented that he had no problems with the Titans chasing Manning, he was likely keeping his fingers cross that he would end up elsewhere. Hasselbeck enjoyed a decent season as the number one guy in Tennessee, all be it with the future of the franchise standing right behind him in Jake Locker. If Manning would have chosen the Titans as his new home Hasselbeck surely would have been cut as we all know that Peyton would become the instant starter. Hasslebeck also has a base salary of $5.5 million in 2012, and there is no way the Titans would have paid him that much to ride the pine. Now Hasselbeck has no worries with Peyton heading to the Rocky Mountains, he’ll likely be the quarterback of the Titans for the upcoming season.
3. David Garrard: Miami is leaving no stone unturned in their attempts to replace quarterback Matt Moore. Not only did they meet with Smith and Manning, but they also will be meeting with former Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback David Garrard. Last year David almost signed with Miami, but back surgery, suffered in training camp with Jaguars before he was cut, forced him out of action for the 2011 season. Now healed and ready to prove he belongs in the NFL he may be the only option for Miami given that Alex Smith is likely going back to the 49ers, Hasselbeck is staying with the Titans, and they have already lost out on free agent quarterback Matt Flynn, who decided to sign with the Seahawks Sunday. Garrard was once on the cusp of securing staring job this year, but thanks to Manning he just may be penciled in as the starter for the Dolphins should he indeed sign with the team.
4. Tim Tebow: Perhaps the biggest casualty of Manning signing in Denver is the future of Tim Tebow, the charming quarterback that seemed to find fourth quarter magic consistently last season to will the Broncos to the playoffs and ignite the fan base with his passion for winning. Once the news broke that Manning would reside in Denver, news broke again that the Broncos will be putting Tebow on the trade block as they attempt to get something for him from a team willing to deal. Tebow is an electrifying presence on the field — and while he certainly needs time to develop as an NFL quarterback — it’s undeniable he sells tickets and “puts butts in seats”. Several lowly franchises may find this appealing, and two that have already been mentioned are the Jacksonville Jaguars, and you guessed it, the Miami Dolphins. Both franchises are in need of someone that can come along and the excite the fan base and reestablish interest in the team. For this reason alone Tebow may be appealing to these clubs, but just where he ends up this season is anyone’s guess. Someone though just needs to give the guy a shot.
Tags: 2012 NFL Free Agency Alex Smith David Garrard Denver Brocos Indianapolis Colts Jacksonville Jaguars Matt Hasselbeck Miami Dolphins NFL Peyton Manning San Francisco 49'ers Tennessee Titans Tim Tebow