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Peyton’s decision will put another quarterback in play

Matt Hasselbeckx-large

It’s a given that, if Peyton Manning chooses the Broncos, Tim Tebow will be traded. Indeed, a significant part of the Peyton chase, from the perspective of V.P. of football operations John Elway, is that Peyton provides the perfect cover for punting on Tebow.

On Friday, I explained to Joe Rose of WQAM in Miami that, if the Dolphins whiff on Matt Flynn and Manning goes to Denver, owner Stephen Ross will continue to flail at the piñata of legitimacy by trying to trade for Tebow. Joe Rose hated like the idea, as the audio posted at the Sun-Sentinel website demonstrates. He also challenged me to reduce the concept to writing, which I promptly did.

But let’s not simply confine this discussion to Peyton choosing the Broncos. If he picks the 49ers, a first overall pick turned journeyman turned bust turned journeyman turned bust turned serviceable starter under the influence of Jim Harbaugh will become available.

Technically, Alex Smith already is available -- and apparently the phone isn’t ringing. So unless Jim Harbaugh chooses to keep Smith and Colin Kaepernick on the bench behind Peyton, Smith will have to hope that someone else is interested.

The best development for a quarterback-needy team would be a decision by Peyton to sign with the Titans. That would put Matthew Hasselbeck on the market, and it would be a much, much better football fit for the Dolphins (who tried to trade for him in 2001). The Dolphins plan to run the West Coast offense, something Hasselbeck mastered during his time in Green Bay and Seattle. Though he wouldn’t put the same number of butts in the seats as Tebow, the team would be better off with Hasselbeck.

And then the Dolphins and Mike Holmgren could arm wrestle all over again for the chance to land him.

Here’s more on the displacement of Tebow or Hasselbeck, from Friday’s PFT Live.