Mark Rypien says Redskins should pursue Peyton Manning

The 20th anniversary of the last time the Washington Redskins were in the Super Bowl has just passed.

The franchise has stumbled for most of the last two decades, and there are no indications Year 3 of the Mike Shanahan regime is any closer to getting Daniel Snyder’s club back in contention for a title.

The quarterback position remains a major quandary, the biggest issue facing the team. Mark Rypien, who was MVP of the Super Bowl XXVI team, sees a clear direction the team should pursue. He believes the team needs to pursue Peyton Manning if/when the Indianapolis Colts cut him loose.

This is a different bird here,” Rypien said on ESPN 980 in Washington, according to Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post. “Now, the one thing that I would say is, if he’s healthy. That’s the one piece of this puzzle that would be a little bit alarming is his health and that neck injury that he had.

“And if that’s OK and he’s OK, there’s no reason at all that you would not bring that guy, unless we as Redskins fans don’t want to go back to Super Bowls. I mean, (unless) we got kind of bored with going to Super Bowls and we don’t care anymore about going back to Super Bowls so we’ll just kind of stay where we’re at — unless we’re there — then this guy is the real deal. His brother had a great Super Bowl and is an amazing player; (but) this guy takes it to a different level. Eli makes some physical plays that are amazing, but Peyton’s gonna put you in positions and do things on a football field that’s gonna make you win. That’s just the facts.

“That’s my personal opinion. I know the guy, I know his physical abilities, but more importantly I think he’s got a mental outlook on this game that none other (players) that I’ve seen have. He definitely would be someone I would consider highly to (lead) the Redskins, if that’s the direction they’re going.”

The Redskins could go after a quarterback in the draft but barring a shocking trade, they’re going to have no chance at Andrew Luck. Do they make a play for Robert Griffin III?

“You know, the Redskins and drafting a guy for the future hasn’t actually been one of their strong suits,” Rypien said. “You get the kid out of Baylor? I mean, that’s not a bad choice either....You can bring a guy that’s a second- or third-round pick, or maybe a slappy like myself who’s a sixth-round pick. You find a diamond in the rough every now and again that learns a system and is willing to learn a system.

“If all indications are that (Manning) is healthy and ok to go and has four or five years left in him, it’d be the best thing the Redskins could do in my opinion.”

That would put Manning in the NFC East with his brother. It would legitimize the Redskins at the quarterback position. We’ll see how this plays out. Surely, there will be some more drama in Indianapolis first.

Follow me on Twitter: @BradBiggs

Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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