Peyton Manning Declines Visit with Kansas City Chiefs: What Is KC's Plan B?

Derek EstesCorrespondent IMarch 12, 2012

Peyton Manning isn't interested in the Chiefs. Now the question is if Cassel now feels the same way.
Peyton Manning isn't interested in the Chiefs. Now the question is if Cassel now feels the same way.Peter Aiken/Getty Images

Kansas City Chiefs fans entertained fantasies of Peyton Manning taking the helm of their team and leading them to their first Super Bowl in over 40 years.

According to The Denver Post, it looks like those thoughts will have to stay as fantasies (and maybe a couple Madden rosters). Manning declined visits with Seattle and Kansas City, with the Broncos leading in the campaign to land the biggest name in free agency this year.

Should Denver convince Manning to sign on the dotted line, it should incite a chain reaction of moves as the Broncos trade Tim Tebow to a team who'll put him back in the starting lineup. The Jaguars project as the front runner, though that would likely lead to another trade which would send Blaine Gabbert to another team.

That's all well and good, but the bottom line is where does this leave the Chiefs? With their top target apparently uninterested, Kansas City now needs to figure out the next step in finding a quarterback.

Matt Cassel is obviously still on the roster, but can't very well feel good about his general manager speaking openly about trying to sign his replacement. At this point, it would probably be in their best interest to trade Cassel to Seattle regardless of the outcome.

The Chiefs could also get in on any impending trade action involving Manning. Kansas City could probably get Tebow or Gabbert for far less than their current teams spent on them. However, both players need a good deal more coaching to be truly successful in the NFL. The Chiefs would either go through some growing pains next season, or bench them in favor of a veteran for the first year.

Finally, Kansas City could make a move for one of the other free agents on the market. Kyle Orton is already familiar with the Chiefs and their coaching staff. Matt Flynn could also become a target, so long as his asking price remains reasonable. Despite his remarkable performance against the Lions last year, he has a very small body of work to base his value on. Chad Henne could also be a prime target, having played for Brian Daboll in Miami last year.

However things go, Chiefs fans can expect someone different from Matt Cassel under center this coming season.

But it won't be Peyton Manning.