Try on this 2012 NFL draft scenario:
Andrew Luck to Indianapolis with the first overall choice;
Robert Griffin III to Washington with the second pick, acquired from St. Louis;
Ryan Tannehill to Cleveland at No. 4;
Miami, the next team with quarterback needs, goes in another direction with the eighth overall choice after signing or otherwise acquiring Matt Flynn from Green Bay, tapping into the relationship between Flynn and new Dolphins coach Joe Philbin.
That would leave Arizona and Seattle as primary suitors for Peyton Manning. The timing would have to be right, and still there would be no guarantees. But it's at least plausible.
Peter King of Sports Illustrated lists the Seahawks and Cardinals as potential landing spots for Manning, with this to say about Manning and Reggie Wayne coming to Seattle together: "The injury-prone Sidney Rice makes this a tough call. But the Seahawks certainly have the cash to make this happen, and it's exceedingly logical to think they'd be interested in both. With Rice and Mike Williams the current projected starters, you'd think Pete Carroll would use Williams and Golden Tate as swing players and injury insurance, with the heady Doug Baldwin the kind of slot receiver Manning could use as his new Brandon Stokley." Noted: Williams is far from assured a starting job or even a roster spot, in my view. He needs to bounce back from a down season. Kris Durham also could factor into the big-receiver role for Seattle.
Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune sees Leroy Hill's arrest costing the linebacker money, but he does not see it as a deal-breaker for the Seahawks. Boling: "Depending on the evidence in Hill’s case, I don’t think the current Seahawk front office is going to be too judgmental about a possession charge. They drafted tight end Anthony McCoy after reportedly testing positive for marijuana at the 2010 combine. He was a projected third- or fourth-round pick, so he seemed a bargain worth taking when he was available in the sixth round. So it’s logical to speculate that they’ll likewise consider keeping Hill if his expected performance warrants the contract investment."
Dave Wyman of 710ESPN Seattle says Hill "has the rare talent and ability to actually stand out in an NFL locker room. He's that good. Since his rookie year in 2005, I've marveled over the plays he makes. He can take on any offensive lineman in the league, drop into coverage as well as any linebacker and rush the passer with the best of them. He's quite possibly the best open-field tackler I've ever seen. I watched him on consecutive plays cover a running back man-to-man 30 yards downfield, blow up a fullback in the backfield -- ruining the timing of a running play -- and hurdle over an offensive guard to make a tackle on a screen play. He could be 'that guy' in the NFL. But instead, he's throwing it all away."
Craig Morgan of Fox Sports Arizona checks in with Ben Patrick after the former Cardinals tight end helped rescue motorists following a crash. Patrick had run across a similar scene while a college student years earlier. He watched a man die that time. Patrick: "It stuck with me a long time, although I haven’t told many people about it. It’s hard to watch a man die right in front of you. The other guy was holding his hand as he passed. That’s what prompted me to such quick action when I saw the same situation again."
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt is happy to play the Hall of Fame Game this year. Somers: "At the combine last week, Whisenhunt expressed considerable enthusiasm for playing in the game. It's not something he would want to do every year, he said, but 2012 is an optimal season for it. NFL teams had no off-season work in 2011. The new CBA allows for fewer off-season practices and conditioning sessions than the previous CBA. No matter which direction the Cardinals go at quarterback, an extra week or so of practice will be a benefit."
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch offers thoughts on which team would be the ideal trading partner with St. Louis for the second overall pick. Thomas: "As for Washington, the relationship between Bruce Allen and Kevin Demoff, and Jeff Fisher and Mike Shanahan might make a deal easier to get done. Because they respect each other and know each other so well, a lot of the gamesmanship would be minimized -- they can get right down to business. The only problem picking sixth is that Justin Blackmon, Matt Kalil and Morris Claiborne could all be gone by then."
Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com says Dashon Goldson's decision to switch from agent Drew Rosenhaus to CAA could affect negotiations with the 49ers in a positive way. Maiocco: "Goldson was an unrestricted free agent last year, too. Multiple sources told CSNBayArea.com that the 49ers offered a five-year, $25 million deal. But sources say Rosenhaus assured Goldson that he could get him the kind of contract the San Diego Chargers awarded safety Eric Weddle: five years, $40 million. After a couple weeks of free agency, Rosenhaus sent an email to every NFL team to inform them that Goldson's demands had lowered and he would sign a one-year deal for 'approximately $3 million.' Three days later, Goldson returned to the 49ers on a one-year, $2 million contract."