Bill Barnwell has surveyed the land and come up with a list of possible landing spots for Peyton Manning. In his eyes, Classic Colt Jim Harbaugh would be a perfect match for Peyton Manning:
If Jim Harbaugh can’t get Andrew Luck, wouldn’t this be the next best thing? With Harbaugh as coach, that young offensive line percolating, a dominant defense, and the NFC West on the docket for six games a year, the Niners can own this division for the next three to four years. That’s pretty clear. But when they lose in the playoffs this year, the narrative around them is going to become simple: “We need an upgrade on Alex Smith if we’re ever going to win a Super Bowl.” The Niners left $16 million in cap space unused this year, and with a young roster, they should be able to fit Manning under the cap in 2012. And while the San Francisco offense isn’t quite as good as the unit Manning would join in Dallas, Peyton would have enough weapons to justify making the move. We’ve seen how good the 49ers can be with a below-average quarterback this season; now, what could they do with an elite one?