Free agent spotlight: Quarterbacks

Second in a series looking the players who are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents Tuesday — and one who already is — although the following information does not reflect who the Seahawks might be targeting:

Position: Quarterback

Leader of the pack: Peyton Manning

What he’s done: What didn’t the Colts’ iconic QB do in his 14 seasons in Indy? Super Bowl winner. Only four-time MVP in NFL history. Eleven-time Pro Bowl selection. Has thrown for 54,828 yards and 399 touchdowns while completing 64.9 percent of his passes (4,682 of 7,210). Led the Colts to 10-plus victories 11 times, including nine seasons in a row (2002-10). But Manning, who was released today, turns 36 this month and missed all of last season after having four surgical procedures on his neck.

Where he ranks: No. 3 on Pro Football Weekly’s just-updated list of Top 100 free agents, behind Saints QB Drew Brees (who was given the franchise tag) and Texans DE-OLB Mario Williams.

What they’re saying: “I’m not supposed to talk about anyone else’s players, and he’s still a player with Indianapolis. But with talent like that, I would be crazy not to consider it if he were available. I’ll leave it at that.” – Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel at the NFL Scouting Combine two weeks ago

Other options: Packers Matt Flynn, who has only two regular-season starts on his resume but set franchise records with 480 yards and six touchdowns in the 2011 regular-season finale and had 251 yards and three TDs in a 2010 game; 49ers Alex Smith, the first pick overall in the 2005 NFL Draft who resurrected his career last season, his first under Jim Harbaugh; Chiefs Kyle Orton, who has been with three teams in the past four seasons; Raiders Jason Campbell, who lost his starting job last season when Oakland traded for Carson Palmer but has more TD passes (74) than interceptions (50) in his seven-season NFL career; Eagles Vince Young, the former Titan threw nine interceptions in 114 attempts during his first season as the backup to Michael Vick in Philly; Dolphins Chad Henne, lasted only four games last season before injuring a shoulder.

Seahawks own free agents: Charlie Whitehurst.

Numbers to know: In the past 18 NFL Drafts, the Seahawks have used first-day picks to select a QB only twice – Brock Huard in 1999 and David Greene in 2005; both in the third round. That, of course, followed a four-year span where they used first-round picks to acquire Kelly Stouffer, Dan McGwire and Rick Mirer. So rather than draft choices, they’ve manned the pivotal position with players acquired in trades (Matt Hasselbeck and Whitehurst) or signed as free agents (John Friesz, Warren Moon, Jon Kitna, Trent Dilfer and Tarvaris Jackson).

Says coach Pete Carroll: “Ideally, we’d like to have a guy that can run a little bit and complement the running game and do something for us. Get out on the edge and threaten enough to keep the run game that we’re so committed to alive and at its best. I really go back to the general side. I want a real competitive guy that can affect the people around him and help other guys play better. So that’s kind of the general way of looking at (what we’re searching for in a quarterback).”

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