For the first and only time in his illustrious career, Peyton Manning tested the free-agent market in 2012. It saw one of the game’s greatest players become available that raised many questions about where he could play in the next chapter of his career. Before settling down with the Denver Broncos, there were other teams interested in his services. One of which was the Seattle Seahawks, which didn’t garner much attention and wound up being the best non-move for the franchise.
Peyton Manning’s 2012 free agency
The Hall of Famer had put forth an incredible first 14 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts that included winning a Super Bowl.
However, Manning had significant neck surgery that brought forth questions about his longevity and ability to play at a high level. The Colts begrudgingly moved off him to eventually roll with Andrew Luck as his successor.
That put Manning on the open market for the first time in his career, which he quickly zeroed in on three teams in the Broncos, San Francisco 49ers, and Tennessee Titans.
Following a trip to Denver, he leaned in the direction toward signing with the franchise for the next chapter of his career. Although it was a clear cut and dry process that was done by mid-March, Manning had some interest from the Seahawks that he didn’t welcome.
Peyton Manning didn’t want to meet with Seahawks
Manning made it quite clear early in the process that he had a keen interest in the Broncos, 49ers, and Titans.
Despite that, the Seahawks continued to work their way into the situation in hopes of speaking with the star quarterback. During a recent interview with “The Record,” NBC Sports’ Peter King revealed that head coach Pete Carroll had flown over to Denver to talk to Manning, but that situation never came to fruition as hoped. (H/T Yahoo Sports)
“Manning didn’t go meet Pete Carroll,” King said on “The Record.” “Pete Carroll flew to Denver chasing Peyton Manning and Manning never met with him. He got back on the plane and just flew back to Seattle. It was really kind of a crazy time.”
Carroll more than likely knew that there was no chance that he would be able to sit down and meet with the future Hall of Famer. It was likely more so the gesture of him going out of his way to speak with Manning that he’d hope would change his mind about the entire situation.
Instead, it led to Carroll having to shamefully flight back to Seattle with what turned out to be a wasted flight. At the moment, it may have been a crushing blow, but it worked out for the best for the franchise.
Worked out for the best for the Seahawks
Carroll and the Seahawks may have been deflated at the time due to getting shut out by Manning, but things worked out tremendously in their favor months later.
Seattle wound up finding their franchise quarterback a few months later in the third round in the NFL draft in the form of Russell Wilson. He has quickly proven to be the franchise cornerstone that they were looking to guide the team forward for the next decade-plus.
Wilson has helped lead the franchise to the playoffs seven in his first eight seasons that include three NFC West division times, a pair of Super Bowl appearances, and the team’s first championship. He has also become an increasingly better quarterback as he has moved along in his career.
The initial blow of losing out on Manning may have been a harsh reality, but it more than worked out for the best for the Seahawks for the long haul.