Monday, February 27, 2012

Here's how the Kansas City Chiefs sign Peyton Manning

Here's how the Chiefs bring Peyton Manning to KC.

Posted By on Mon, Feb 27, 2012 at 6:00 AM

The Chiefs have to sell out to sell Peyton Manning.
  • The Chiefs have to sell out to sell Peyton Manning.
The idea that Peyton Manning could be suiting up in the home locker room at Arrowhead Stadium didn't feel particularly likely before the weekend. But a whirlwind of rumors, beginning with 610 Sports' Bob Fescoe's tweet that Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli had talked to Tom Condon, Manning's agent, twice, and a barrage of analysis over head coach Romeo Crennel's obvious statement that the Chiefs would be interested in Manning as a free agent, makes it hard not to think about what could happen next season.

Let's assume that Manning is healthy (enough). And because half the fun of football is debating the off-field decisions of your team, I figured we should offer the Chiefs a blueprint for signing Manning.

Treat this like Entourage. You already brought in Jim Bob Cooter. Go ahead and sign former Colts offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen. While you're at it, why not make wide receivers Pierre Garcon and Reggie Wayne your top two free-agent targets. Get a list from Manning and then figure out what they'll do once they get here.

Sporting KCs locker room is swank.
  • Sporting KC's locker room is swank.
Tell him No. 18 is available. And that he'd be the only one to ever wear it again for the Chiefs. You might as well take advantage of our culture and let a Twitter pic of a red Manning jersey hanging in the Chiefs' locker room hit the Internet. Refuse to acknowledge the picture, which would only make the speculation grow. Then pretend that Sporting KC's locker room is the Chiefs' locker room — it's insanely nice in there.

Explain that this is a fanbase that respects (and is hungry for) a talented quarterback. The media have done the work for you on this one again, comparing Joe Montana's decision to play for the Chiefs following his time with the San Francisco 49ers with the current situation. Kansas City is an easy sell. The public is relatively respectful, the local media is not looking to embarrass the biggest star on the team, and anybody who cheers on the guys at the deli counter is OK in our book.

Make it clear that Matt Cassel won't be a problem. Cassel won't complain to the press. It's just not in his DNA. And then explain to Manning that he can watch when Cassel receives the clipboard that will be his best friend for the next two years.

Sell out. Hard. Do everything that's allowed short of tampering. Get billboards up and start talking candidly about how good Manning could be, or how some unnamed quarterback with his skill set could really flourish in Kansas City.

Spend an ungodly sum of money. Peter King reported that the Kansas City Chiefs had $63 million of cap space. They signed Stanford Routt to a three-year, $19 million deal, which still leaves more than $50 million on the table. Take the game-show approach and combine it with the classic police bribe. Bring him in a room with a table full of cash and some duffel bags. Explain that you're going to get a sandwich, Pioli, and that if he's not there when you come back, that's fine. Close the door and watch what happens on the closed-circuit cameras you installed in the room sometime in the past few years.

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