Peyton Manning, the former Indianapolis Colts quarterback, landed late Wednesday afternoon in South Florida, drawing the attention of local TV news helicopters and NFL fans everywhere.
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MIAMI, Fla. — Reggie Wayne thinks ending his career with the Miami Dolphins, winning a Super Bowl with Peyton Manning as his quarterback, would be a “story book ending.”
That’s what the soon-to-be free agent told WQAM’s (560-AM) The Michael Irvin Show on Wednesday, just minutes before Manning got released by the Indianapolis Colts.
As the Sun-Sentinel reported earlier Wednesday, Wayne is open to signing with the Dolphins, and views a receiver tandem that features him and Brandon Marshall as a force in the AFC East, if not the NFL, adding, "the league might not want that."
“You don’t think [Peyton Manning] wants to prove people wrong,” Wayne told WQAM. “You don’t think he wants to go out there and show everyone he’s back, and what he can do. This dude is going to be ready. Trust me, he’s going to be more than ready. And he’s not going to have a problem adjusting to nobody's scheme, and nobody's roster. He’s going to fit in just like he’s been there.”
Wayne, a former Hurricanes standout who is a South Florida resident in the offseason, is optimistic he can do the same thing if the Dolphins make an offer, putting Manning’s old band back together in South Florida.
The Dolphins can begin courting Manning today because he’s been released by Indianapolis. But Miami can not contact Wayne, or his representatives, until March 13, when free agency officially opens at 4 p.m.
Wayne caught 75 passes for 950 yards and four touchdowns in 2011, and that was a down year for this three-time All-Pro selection, who didn’t have Manning throwing to him for the first time in 11 seasons.
“My phone is working. It’s definitely working. I got all my bars. Whenever that phone rings, trust me, I’ll answer,” Wayne said about his desire to sign with the Dolphins.
It’s likely that Wayne’s camp will seek a contract comparable to the three-years, $15 million deal his former UM teammate, Santana Moss, got from the Washington Redskins last year.
That deal included a $5 million signing bonus and $6 million in guarantees from the Redskins. The cap hit on that deal would be about $2.67 million in the first season.
Considering the Dolphins have approximately $15 million in cap space to work with – without restructuring contacts – it’s possible the Dolphins will need to get creative to create salary cap space for Manning and Wayne.
“I can see it, and I’m definitely not opposed to it,” Wayne said about teaming up with Manning in Miami. “He’s a great worker. I consider myself a great worker, and when you put great workers together good things happen. Me being in his trail to Miami, I would definitely love it! I’m totally available. My phone is working…I’m ready for anything that comes! I definitely see that in the mix.”
Stay tuned. The dominoes are starting to fall.
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