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Peyton Manning NFC West Watch: Arizona Cardinals Out, San Francisco 49ers In?

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Speaking simply as a football fan, I'm really hoping Peyton Manning's comeback is a success—I want to see him torch the Colts and get a standing O on their own turf, compete for MVP Awards, win Super Bowls, etc., if for no other reason than his star turn in that SNL United Way ad. But I don't want to see him in the NFC West, where it seems like every other team is vying for his services. This week: It looks like the Arizona Cardinals might be out, and the San Francisco 49ers might be in. (The Seattle Seahawks might be having awkward conversations with Tarvaris Jackson's agent.)

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The 49ers would obviously be the worst-case scenario for a St. Louis Rams team that's looking to repeat its unlikely, under-.500 run in 2010—adding Peyton Manning to a team that went 13-3 with Alex Smith starting at quarterback goes a long way toward counterbalancing the NFL's vaunted parity and making Jeff Fisher's first year in the Edward Jones Dome seem even more airless and dark than the Edward Jones Dome usually is.