Around the NFC West: Contacting Manning

The Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals reached out to Peyton Manning's representatives Wednesday in the hours after Indianapolis released the four-time MVP.

Both teams received prominent mention from ESPN's Chris Mortensen in the story appearing on the site overnight.

We know Seattle and Arizona are both interested in Manning. We do not yet know which teams Manning might prefer. And we do not yet know whether Manning will be healthy enough for any of it to matter.

But with free agency set to begin March 13, teams will want clarity sooner rather than later.

Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times says the Seahawks, with Tarvaris Jackson and Josh Portis under contract at the position, have little choice but to consider Manning. Brewer: "There's no need to overthink it. It's this simple: The Seahawks don't have a quarterback good enough to make them true title contenders, and Manning, even if he returns at 80 percent of his greatness, makes almost any team an instant contender. Most enticing is that, with Manning, the Seahawks could continue their rebuilding and win, too. Signing the quarterback won't dramatically alter any of general manager John Schneider's long-term plans." Noted: There would be some scheme adjustments, but probably not a complete overhaul. Manning could quickly learn the offense. The Seahawks could focus on the portions that Manning likes the most.

Brock Huard of 710ESPN Seattle thinks the Seahawks should appeal to Manning, his former teammate.

Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com waves goodbye to longtime Seattle cornerback Marcus Trufant.

Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic says Manning is the quarterback to finish what Kurt Warner started in Arizona. Warner: "As long as he's healthy, I don't think there's any question that Peyton can play at the highest level, do the things he's always done. The question for Arizona is: Are they willing to pull the trigger after what's happened at the quarterback position over the last two years? Are they willing to spend the money it's going to take?" Noted: Another question could be whether the Cardinals can find out enough about Manning's health to make an informed decision before Kevin Kolb is scheduled to earn a $7 million bonus March 17.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic checks in with Warner, who vouches for Ken Whisenhunt's flexibility on offense. Warner: "I think it’s very rare. People get to a certain place or certain level because they do things their way. It's tough to put that aside and go, 'OK, I'm willing to put my job on the line for somebody else's stuff."

Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Manning's situation is likely to affect the Rams. Miklasz: "If Manning goes to Washington, then the Rams almost certainly would lose a potential trade partner. (The Redskins draft 6th overall.) If Manning signs in Miami (8th overall), you can remove them from the list of candidates for the No. 2 slot. On the other hand, if the Redskins can't sign Manning, it seemingly would make the franchise more desperate to trade up for QB Robert Griffin III. Same with Miami or any other team that loses out in the Manning derby."

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com says the 49ers have offered a contract to Alex Smith, and they are not interested in Manning.

Lowell Cohn of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says the 49ers should pursue Manning. Cohn: "They have a championship-caliber defense but their offense is not championship-caliber. They need an offense to complement the defense. It's more than that -- they owe their defense a worthy offense. Smith is holding back the 49ers' offense -- he is their lack and their limit. They need a better quarterback. They have a chance to get a better quarterback. Get Manning."

Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News quotes Tony Dungy on Manning and the 49ers. Dungy: "You put Peyton Manning in that offense and people are going to be scared to play them. There are other teams that fit that same feel, but San Francisco comes to the top of my mind."

Kevin Lynch of the San Francisco Chronicle says the 49ers have good reason for staying out of the Manning race. Lynch: "Smith is a healthy, ascending quarterback, while the 36-year-old Manning is an injured, descending player. The team can’t sign both and the decision to sign Smith just makes much more sense. Yes, Manning is a Hall of Fame player but after spending 14 years in the same offense, Manning would have to adjust to a West Coast system, which is not an easy transition for any player. Additionally, no one knows what kind of player Manning is after three neck surgeries."

Khaled Elsayed of Pro Football Focus lists Seattle's Brandon Mebane and San Francisco's Isaac Sopoaga among the better defenders against the run last season.