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OSU football: Brandon Weeden's immediate NFL future might depend on Peyton Manning's decision

Manning will ultimately impact Weeden because of the quarterback carousel that will begin when future Hall of Famer decides where he'll play next.
BY GINA MIZELL, Staff Writer, Published: March 18, 2012

“They’re doing their job (in also pursuing Manning). That’s just the way the business works and I completely understand it.”

But if Manning signed with San Francisco, the finalist that appears to be in the best position to win a Super Bowl, that would likely create the longest string of ripple effects.

In any other year, the 49ers would almost certainly re-sign Alex Smith after his breakout 2011 season. Where would Smith wind up if Manning picked San Francisco? Miami? Cleveland? Seattle also appeared to be an option before the Seahawks signed Matt Flynn Sunday evening.

And what would all of that mean for the draft stock of Texas A&M’s Ryan Tannehill, the quarterback widely projected to be ranked one spot higher of Weeden?

Weeden admits this whole pre-draft process is now making him a bit anxious. He just wants to know where he’s going to play in 2012. And trying to predict where he could wind up, with the biggest free-agent quarterback in NFL history unsigned, can be a bit dizzying.

Weeden joked that a team he hasn’t even spoken to yet will probably draft him.

But once Manning finds a new home, we should be able to narrow down the possible landing spots for Weeden, based on which teams still need to draft a quarterback that could start right away. At age 28, Weeden likely won’t land on a team that plans to sit a rookie quarterback for a few years.

And when Weeden signs his first contract, he’ll be able to thank one of his childhood sports heroes for indirectly sending him to that franchise.