Peyton Manning

Woosh! Peyton Manning is about to be gone from Indy. But where will he go next? Photo courtesy Andy Lyons/Getty Images North America

With Peyton Manning expected to be released by the Colts later today, speculation is swirling as to where he will land. Jets players say they want him. The Dolphins say they’ve considered it. And teams like Arizona and Washington can’t be far behind.

But for all this speculation, I offer a different option: Let’s start a Peyton Manning football team.

Of course, this is never going to happen. If we were going to welcome a 33rd team into the NFL next season, we wouldn’t have waited until March to begin discussing it. But if Peyton Manning really wanted to play for another team, that’d be the way to do it.

Think about it: When Peyton Manning was in Indianapolis, he was

Indianapolis. Despite being possibly one of the most humble quarterbacks to attain such a high level of success, he had an entire NFL franchise on his shoulders and an entire fan base on his, oh, nevermind. Despite the name on the deed, this was not Irsay’s team. This was Peyton’s team.

Don’t believe me? Irsay spent this offseason contemplating releasing a 35-year-old quarterback whom he owed a huge bonus to the same year a once-in-a-generation prospect fell into his lap, and some dared to argue he was the bad guy.

So no matter where Manning goes, it’s just not going to feel right. This is not like seeing Favre in Viking purple or McNabb in burgundy ‘n’ gold. Those sights took some getting used to — no doubt about it — but Peyton Manning is a different entity entirely.

Which brings me to my original point: Peyton needs a new home. Not a new-used home like Miami or Arizona. A new-new home. Like Los Angeles.

Peyton Manning

Photo courtesy Jim Rogash/Getty Images North America

The Los Angeles Peyton Mannings. That has a ring to it, right? No? Okay, we’ll work on the name later. But a guy like Manning would be the perfect guy to build a new franchise around. He’s certainly a better option than David Carr turned out to be in Houston.

Manning is a quiet, sometimes introverted athlete. For someone of his stature in today’s NFL, he mind as well be a borderline mute. Needless to say, he’s not exactly the athletic manifestation of the city known as Los Angeles; not by a long shot. But maybe we could sign T.O. and Randy Moss. They’re more L.A.-esque. We could even call it the all-bounce-back team!

I like that. Let’s get Cowher out of retirement to coach it, Bruschi and Seau can be the defensive captains, and Jesse Palmer can be the handsome albeit useless backup quarterback. He can’t be any worse than Dan Orlovsky, can he?

So when Manning signs with one of the 31 teams not named the Colts, and it feels like someone is forcing a puzzle piece that just doesn’t go there, remember what I said here today. Is Manning going to start a new franchise? No, but as far as imperfect situations go, that would be the best fit.

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When Bryan Lienesch isn’t fabricating football teams, he is on Twitter! Follow him @bclienesch!