Even as the dust settles on Peyton Manning’s arrival to the Denver Broncos as their new starting quarterback, the confusion still remains as to the entire process. Why did some teams make it in and others were spurned at the door? Why did the Denver Broncos end up on top? Some of it can be explained immediately, but it still doesn’t fully expound on the process that left the Kansas City Chiefs unexplainably out in the cold.
In the early part of the process, the Chiefs were often listed alongside other favorites like the Washington Redskins and Miami Dolphins. It turns out that none of those were contenders in the slightest. The Redskins decided to go all in on a rookie when they found out they were not considered. The Dolphins are going to roll with visions of USC’s Matt Barkley. None of the three were really in the running after all.
The Chiefs were a team that “made sense” from the outside looking in. In fact, it was a better fit on paper than Denver given the cold weather, the altitude and, most importantly, the talent already in place. While Denver won the division last season, there’s no doubting the better core of talent present in KC. Brian Billick says he is still confused:
To many, including me, the Kansas City Chiefs seemed to be one of the best situations for Manning. They have a good, young receiving corps with Pro Bowl pick Dwayne Bowe, Jonathan Baldwin and Steve Breaston. A promising young tight end, Tony Moeaki, coupled with running back Jamaal Charles and a solid offensive line all looked inviting. Add in a defensive-minded head coach who would stay out of your way in a division that has been, well, let’s be respectful and just say that it is fluid. Yet with all this, the Chiefs couldn’t even get a call back. This has left the fan base wondering why general manager Scott Pioli whiffed in the process.
Manning didn’t even give the team the opportunity to present its case. Neither did the Seattle Seahawks. Both teams were in need of a quarterback to match its solid talent base around the position, but were spurned for one reason or another. For the Chiefs, too many things seemed to click for Manning to move on without a look.
For now the Chiefs will move forward with the same quarterback they had last year along with competition from Brady Quinn. Perhaps a move in the 2012 NFL Draft will come to bolster the position, but many are left with questions as to why Peyton never even glanced KC’s way.