INDIANAPOLIS | The free agent market for quarterbacks will start to evolve more than a month before the Redskins have the chance to draft a quarterback in late April. Free agency and the draft will shape the Redskins’ quarterback situation in 2012 and beyond; in other words, the two are interconnected.
Coaches and executives from other teams at the NFL Scouting Combine this week have helped to clarify the outlook for free agency. Let’s take a quick spin.
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts
Manning isn’t a free agent yet. He would become one if the Colts release him.
“It’s an ongoing process,” Colts general manager Ryan Grigson said. “It’s something that obviously is not going to be a rash thing. We’ve taken our time. I know you guys would like to know more. Everyone would like to have this nailed down, but there is a lot of variables and factors involved. There’s a great player involved that’s near and dear to us and to the organization. We want to do it the right way, do what’s best for the organization and for Peyton.”
Grigson has not recently seen Manning thrown.
“We have been in talks with him,” Grigson said. “He has talked to [owner] Jim [Irsay] quite a bit. They have a very amicable relationship. They’ve spoken. He needs to be healthy. Hopefully over the course of time here we’ll have more for you.”
Kyle Orton, Kansas City Chiefs
“We’ve talked to Kyle’s people,” Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli said. “It sounds like Kyle would like to be with us. We’ve told Kyle we’d like to continue to work with him. Now it’s just a matter of seeing if things arrive at the right place. It’s not always whether we want a player or the player wants to be here. Things have to work out.”
Matt Flynn, Green Bay Packers
“I know in my conversations with Matt he’d like to come back and play in Green Bay,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “But the other side of the fence is he’s earned the position he’s in. In my opinion, he’s ready to be an NFL starter. That’s just my opinion. The business side of it will take care of itself. I don’t know what other opportunities he’ll have, but if I was at a club and was looking for a good young quarterback, he’s definitely someone I would talk to.”
For the record, Packers GM Ted Thompson declined to comment when asked if the Packers might use the franchise tag to retain Flynn’s rights.
*I left New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees off this list because 1) the Saints won’t let him get away, and 2) no New Orleans executives spoke here in the media center.