Back in 2012, the Colts were ushering in a new era. Peyton Manning was coming off of neck surgery and the franchise had landed the No. 1 pick, which is planned to use on Andrew Luck. The franchise released Manning and he signed with John Elway & Co. in Denver but the two-time Super Bowl champion nearly signed elsewhere.
Mutual Interest Between Manning, Redskins?
Manning was evaluating options when he became a free agent and the Redskins had a need at quarterback. Mike Shanahan, who was the team’s head coach at the time, says that the team was looking at signing the QB, as Pro Football Action relays.
“We were very much interested in Peyton at that time,” Shanahan said. “I mean, I followed his career. I know him quite well, so I feel like we had an excellent chance to get him. But knowing that Eli [Manning] was in the NFC East, it surely wasn’t a slam dunk.”
Manning had a great relationship with Shanahan, which is why the possibility was on the table.
“I had known Mike for a long time, played for him in a Pro Bowl, and we’ve stayed in touch, and so I felt comfortable talking to them,” Manning said.
“But they had made a trade for the second pick of the draft, which they ended up taking Robert Griffin III. So as soon as they made that trade, even Mike kind of knew that eliminated them. It just wasn’t going to make sense. Kind of like the Colts, they were obviously going to go with a quarterback in the first round.”
Washington traded up to the No. 2 overall slot in order to take Robert Griffin III, something that happened several weeks before the draft, which took the franchise out of the running for Peyton.
“I think Peyton was disappointed. Kyle and I were kind of surprised that he still wanted to meet with us,” Shanahan told the Athletic. “I can remember talking with [Broncos GM John] Elway one time not too long ago, a few years ago. He said, ‘Mike, do you realize that Peyton, I think, was going to go to your place? I think he really wanted to go to your place more than our place.’ I said, ‘Really? I didn’t know that.’ And that came from John. I knew we were fairly close.”
The Titans were another team that Manning evaluated. The two sides discussed Peyton coming to Tennessee and there was even talks about a possible ownership stake.
Missing Out on More Peyton Vs. Eli
Had Peyton signed with the Redskins in the NFC East, he would have battled his brother Eli at least two times every year. Peyton ended up playing four more years after signing with the Broncos and only once during that time did he battle his brother. Peyton squared off against Eli on two occasions while he was in Indianapolis.
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