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The Denver Broncos were the lucky team that ended up landing free agent superstar Peyton Manning, but there is still no guarantee that the quarterback will be able to play at the elite level he displayed prior to a neck injury that kept him sidelined for the entire 2011 season. Manning's former QB coach has gone on the record as saying that Manning will be as good as ever in the fall.
Lindsay H. Jones of the Denver Post reports that David Cutcliffe, who was Manning's coach at Tennessee, observed the quarterback's workouts at Duke University. Cutcliffe is confident that Manning will be just as good as ever.
"He can make all the throws, his release times are perfect, and we pay a lot of attention to that. It's arm speed and getting rid of it. His velocity is good. It's just a matter of, like any other NFL football player, you've got to feel good," Cutcliffe said. "He's in great shape. Not good shape, great shape, and that's part of what we did here as well."
Cutcliffe stated that Manning could play a game now, if necessary. Fans will have to wait a while longer to see for themselves, but Cutcliffe's comments may go a ways to putting them at ease.
This week, the Denver Broncos signed Peyton Manning and traded Tim Tebow. Brady Quinn had departed Denver earlier in the offseason. As John Elway put it, they do not have a 'Plan B.' Well, now they do. A former Chicago Bears backup quarterback will be joining Denver to back up Manning.
Broncos struck deal with former Bears QB Caleb Hanie as backup for Peyton Manning. Broncos have added two former CSU players in two days.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 25, 2012
The former Colorado State QB is best known for his performance in the 2010 NFC Championship Game. When both Jay Cutler and Todd Collins came out of the game injured, Hanie performed well to keep the Bears in the game against the Green Bay Packers. Otherwise, Hanie has struggled. He started three games last season after Jay Cutler broke his thumb, but was replaced by Josh McCown in Week 16. Hanie currently has three touchdown passes and 10 interceptions in his NFL career.
Now that Peyton Manning has landed in Denver, the NFL free agent quarterback market appears to be all dried up which means it's time to recap some of the quarterback movement in the NFL this offseason.
Whichever team signed Peyton Manning would be dubbed as a franchise going "all in" to win the Super Bowl, and that's the case with the Denver Broncos, who officially introduced Manning at a Tuesday afternoon press conference. That was evident when someone asked John Elway, the Broncos' executive vice president of football operations, what "Plan B" was in case Manning got hurt.
"We don't have a plan B," Elway said. "We're going with plan A!"
Manning's health will be scrutinized but according to a number of reports he should be healthy enough to play when the 2012 season kicks off. Manning himself even said during Tuesday's press conference that he could play this Sunday if he had to. He just may not play as well as he wants, to considering the time he's been away from the field.
If you're going all in on one player, it may as well be a four-time league MVP. I guess that's why the Broncos' Super Bowl odds are on the rise.
Along with owner Pat Bowlen and VP of football operations John Elway, Peyton Manning met with the media on Tuesday afternoon where he was officially introduced as the next Denver Broncos quarterback. Manning covered a lot of ground in the press conference on where he stands medically, his role in the Broncos offense and, of course, some Tim Tebow talk.
A few highlights of Tuesday's news conference:
Manning said he won't be the offensive coordinator for the Broncos. Manning is known for having total control of his offenses in Indianapolis so some wondered how much control he would have of the offense in Denver. He may not be the offensive coordinator but I'm sure he'll have plenty of input.
The doctors feel "encouraged" with where he is. He said he's staying in Denver this week and will meet with the Broncos training staff immediately after the press conference. OTAs don't start for a couple of months so there's time for rehab. Manning did say that he could play in a game as soon as this week if he had to. He may not play as well as he wants as his arm strength continues to develop but from a medical perspective he's healthy enough to play.
Manning didn't talk about Tim Tebow with the Broncos. He said his conversations with the Broncos did not include anything about Tim Tebow, who will likely be traded as a result of the move for Manning. He said if Tebow were on the team next year he would be a great teammate. But he also said there are "decisions to be made" when talking about Tebow so I think he realizes what the likely scenario is. He has not talked to Tebow yet.
Manning said he had some interest in NFC teams but he's glad to remain in the AFC. "I'm proud to be in the AFC still," Manning said. "I've always been an AFC guy." There were reports that he preferred the AFC over the NFC, perhaps because his brother, Eli, is in the NFC.
Manning said this is a "now" situation. As in, the Broncos are ready to win now. That's pretty obvious when you add a guy like Manning. If he's healthy, the Broncos wouldn't surprise many people if they represented the AFC in the Super Bowl.
It'll take a little while to get used to it but Peyton Manning will now be wearing No. 18 for the Denver Broncos. Owner Pat Bowlen, John Elway and Manning appeared at a Tuesday afternoon press conference at the Broncos complex. Manning said he will wear his same number, 18, that he wore for 13 seasons in Indianapolis.
Bowlen stressed that the organization's goal was to win Super Bowls and Manning gives them a chance to do so. He also said the Broncos now had two Hall of Fame quarterbacks in Elway and, at some point in the future, Manning. Elway said he wanted to make Manning the greatest quarterback in NFL history.
"I believe he has a lot of great football remaining. We've had many conversations about football and what he was looking for and what we could give him. We're thrilled he picked the Broncos. We think it's a great situation. He's a guy, as Pat [Bowlen] said, is a Hall of Famer. I told him in the process that my goal was to make Peyton manning the best quarterback to ever play the game and he has that ability."
Manning said he woke up on Monday morning and called two other finalists in the process to tell them he had made his decision. After that, he called Elway and said he was ready to be a Bronco.
"I've always had a great deal of respect for John Elway. He is one o fhte best quarterbacks to ever play and his knowledge and respect for the game is evident in eveything he does. Talking football with John, coach Fox, and his staff, made me realize this is a great place to be. I called John Elway on Monday morning and told him I'm thrilled to be a Denver Bronco."
He also said his work with the Broncos will start immediately. After the press conference, he'll meet with the trainers and stay in Denver for the week to begin working.
In case you haven't heard, Peyton Manning's new deal with the Denver Broncos is kind of a big deal. How big you ask? So big that team is willing to unretire the No. 18 so that Manning may wear it on the field this season. The number was last worn in 1963 by Frank Tripucka, who quarterbacked the Broncos during the franchise's first four seasons. Tripucka, now 85, graciously agreed to let Manning wear his jersey after 50 years in retirement.
"It's perfectly OK for him to go ahead and use it,'' Frank Tripucka said last week from his New Jersey home. "I would be honored to have him wear it.''
"It's been retired for 50 years, that's long enough.''
Manning became synonymous with the No. 18 after wearing it for 14 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts. Tripucka wore the number for only four seasons in Denver, but did it proud by becoming the first quarterback in NFL history to pass for over 3,000 yards in a season in 1960. He also threw 51 touchdowns to 85 interceptions in his career.
The Denver Broncos locked up Peyton Manning with a five-year, $96 million deal and officially made him their next quarterback. The deal for Manning looks massive, especially considering that he's had four different procedures done on his neck and is coming off missing the entire season in 2011. The big question now with Manning's contract is how it's structured. Luckily we have Andrew Brandt, the NFL Business Analyst of ESPN, to break down the contract.
The first year of Manning's deal with the Broncos will pay the quarterback $18 million without injury protection for the Denver Broncos, according to Brandt. The Broncos will then pay Manning $40 million guaranteed for the next two seasons, pending Manning passing a physical in March of 2013. The final two seasons of Manning's deal will pay out $19 million each season.
As it stands right now, Manning's deal is essentially a one-year deal for $18 million guaranteed, but if he's fully healthy in March of 2013, it will jump to a total of $58 million guaranteed for the first three years.
Two weeks ago, the Indianapolis Colts said goodbye to the greatest player in franchise history. Now they know where he's going. Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos agreed to a five-year, $96 million deal, and a press conference is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.
Colts owner Jim Irsay released a statement after the Manning-to-Denver news became official.
"I congratulate Peyton as he heads to a tremendous organization in the Denver Broncos. We wish him nothing but the best as he continues his Hall of Fame career."
Manning is 36 years old, and he's hoping for similar success to what John Elway had with the Broncos at that age. In the late 1990s, Elway won back-to-back Super Bowls before retiring. Manning and the Colts went to two Super Bowls together, winning one.
It's a done deal. Peyton Manning is the new quarterback of the Denver Broncos. ESPN's Adam Schefter reports the two sides have formalized their contract, which will pay Manning $96 million over five years. That's about the range we expected with his contract. The Broncos were expected to be working off of Manning's old contract with the Colts, which was five years and $90 million.
Manning's official introduction is expected to come at a Tuesday afternoon press conference, which is scheduled for 3 p.m. (ET).
It's going to be interesting to see how Manning's contract is structured and how much is legitimately guaranteed. Reportedly, Manning was prepared to give his new team insurances in the instance he's not completely healthy to play by the start of the 2012 season. Manning recovering from a number of neck surgeries and continues to rehab in order to build up his arm strength.
The Broncos were the first team Manning visited in his free agency tour. He also visited the Arizona Cardinals and worked out for the San Francisco 49ers and Tennessee Titans. The finalists were believed to be the Broncos, 49ers and Titans.
The Denver Broncos are on the way to signing one of the biggest free agents in NFL history, Peyton Manning. The two sides are finalizing contract details, and the Broncos have announced that they'll be conducting a 3 p.m. ET press conference to announce Manning's arrival.
As expected, Broncos players are taking the news of Manning's arrival very well.
"I tried to look at it objectively and not try to be biased toward my team, the Broncos," cornerback Champ Bailey said of the multiteam, 12-day-long Manning courtship. "But as I was putting it together, I always thought we had the best fit for somebody like him."
Those reasons include the boatload of salary cap Denver currently has, a promising defense and a solid offensive line. Jon Bois of SBNation.com went through the stats and concluded that Manning should be just fine in Denver.
Tennessee Volunteers hero Peyton Manning chose not to play for the local pro team. Vols fans seem fine with up and rooting for the Broncos. What's going on here?
Does Invesco Field's altitude help quarterbacks play better? It seemed like a stupid question at first, but after looking at the numbers ... it appears to be true. Jon Bois attempts to address this and several other Peyton Manning questions.
The ripple effect of Peyton Manning's decision to choose the Denver Broncos is pretty impressive. There were at least a dozen teams interested that now have to find other options at quarterback. The 49ers don't have Alex Smith signed. The Seahawks couldn't get in on Manning so they signed Matt Flynn. The Dolphins still have no quarterback of the future after pursuing Manning. The Titans have to look back to Matt Hasselbeck and Jake Locker.
SB Nation's latest at YouTube examines the ripple effect of a decision like the one we saw on Monday morning from Peyton Manning.
The Denver Broncos probably knew that if they were able to sign Peyton Manning, they'd also be signing a few of his friends. According to NFL Network's Jason La Canfora, free agent center Jeff Saturday is scheduled to visit the Broncos. Saturday was Manning's center in his last 12 years in Indianapolis and the idea of a "package deal" between he and Manning was thrown around.
More moves could be coming. La Canfora reports that Brandon Stokley, who had a previous stint with the Broncos, could be signed. Stokley played with Manning in Indy from 2003-06. Dallas Clark is another free agent who has spent his career with Manning. La Canfora floats him as a possibility as well. Another tight end, Jacob Tamme, played with Manning the last four seasons.
Peyton Manning chose the Denver Broncos on Monday, Tim Tebow could be traded soon, and the NFL world has been turned upside down. And it's all pretty perfect.
Shortly after the Indianapolis Colts officially released Peyton Manning, it was reported that teams wanted him to make a decision quickly so that whoever he chose could begin using Manning as a recruiting tool to sign other free agents. The idea is that players would see the Broncos as a Super Bowl contender with Manning in the fold and then decide to join Denver.
Broncos RB Willie McGahee obviously realizes the importance of the Manning addition as it relates to free agency. Via McGahee on Twitter:
To all my free agents across the nfl, I think u know what time it is. It's about to go down..
Jeff Saturday is a name you'll see pop up. He was Manning's center in Indianapolis and it's been rumored that whoever signs Manning could show interest in Saturday. Manning and Reggie Wayne were supposedly a "package deal" at one point in time but Wayne returned to Indy so who knows how many, if any, of Manning's former Colts teammates will be headed to Denver.
The Denver Broncos on Monday got the big fish in free agency when it was reported Peyton Manning had chosen John Ewlay's Broncos. The two sides will negotiate a contract but Manning is expected to be the Broncos starting quarterback next season.
SB Nation's Broncos blog, Mile High Report, said this was one of the greatest moments in Broncos history outside of the back-to-back Super Bowl victories. Elvis Dumervil, who was quoted in the Denver Post, clearly agrees.
"Something like this is a historic move," said Broncos defensive end Elvis Dumervil. "I don't want to put too much pressure on one guy, but what he's accomplished, if he's healthy, I think he can bring us to one of the dominant organizations."
Vegas odds agree that Denver can become dominant. Now that Manning is joining the Broncos, only a handful of teams have better Super Bowl odds than Denver.
This should be obvious but the Vegas odds say the Denver Broncos have a much better shot of winning the 2013 Super Bowl with Peyton Manning under center rather than Tim Tebow. Considering Manning has been to two Super Bowls and will one day be enshrined in Canton, this shouldn't be surprising news. We already knew they would be instant contenders.
R.J. Bell of Pregame.com passes along word that the Broncos were originally 25:1 odds to land Manning. Their Super Bowl odds before acquiring Manning were even more of a longshot -- 70:1.
After landing Manning, though, Pregame.com has the Broncos at 10:1 odds to win the next Super Bowl.
The only teams with better Super Bowl odds next year reads like a who's who of the best teams in the NFL: Green Bay Packers (6:1), New England Patriots (7:1), San Francisco 49ers (7:1) and New Orleans Saints (8:1).
This is going to make Broncos fans over at Mile High Report smile.
But you obviously can't say the same for Broncos fans. They went out and added a guy who might be the greatest free agent in NFL history. SB Nation's Mile High Report is buzzing about the big addition calling it the greatest moment in Broncos history outside of their Super Bowl victories.
This might be the biggest moment in Denver Broncos history since the team won back-to-back Super Bowls in the late 1990s. Once again, John Elway worked his magic, seemingly bringing the Broncos from behind when all seemed lost. Like he did so many times as a player, Elway got the job done.
Elway just joined the Broncos last year as executive VP of football operations. He's relatively new to running a front office in the NFL yet he beat out several seasoned front offices in his pursuit of Manning. That's no small deal. It also likely creates a ripple effect in which other free agents may be more interested in playing for Denver now.
While there are certainly questions about Manning's health, it was a risk the Broncos had to take for several reasons. Only a name like Manning could lift the burden the franchise was beginning to feel with the constant Tebow-circus. The Broncos can now focus directly on free agency and a return to the glory of it's past. You could never bet against John Elway on the field, and quickly he is proving just a deadly in the front office.
Elway and the Broncos never seemed sold on Tim Tebow as the quarterback of the future but this is still a quarterback that helped lead them to the divisional round of the playoffs last year. Still, you can't turn down the possibility of adding a talent like Manning, even if Tebow won a playoff game last year.
Huge power shift in not only the AFC, but the entire NFL.
"I want to thank the whole organization for their efforts in trying to sign Peyton and also to Peyton for the time he put into the process. Peyton called me this morning to inform me of his decision and obviously I am disappointed, because I thought we would be a perfect fit. Now that we move forward, I want our fans to know that our expectations haven't changed - winning a championship is still the goal. I like our quarterback situation moving forward and we will continue to build the team through free agency and the draft with that goal in mind. I also want to commend Matt Hasselbeck and Jake Locker. They were thrown into a very difficult situation. Matt was very good for us last year; and at some point, we expect Jake to be our future franchise quarterback."
John Elway and the Denver Broncos got their wish. According to reports from ESPN, Peyton Manning has picked the Broncos and the two sides will negotiate a contract. Barring something unexpected, Manning will be the next quarterback of the Broncos.
The Broncos were already coming off of a division title but this move makes them the favorites to repeat. The AFC West isn't great by any means but the Chiefs, Chargers and Raiders could all push for the division title if the Broncos aren't as good as expected with Manning. It's a tight division as it is now. Manning's addition pushes Denver over the top for the moment.
The Broncos are adding one of the league's best quarterbacks to what was already the best running game in the NFL last season. The Broncos offensive line is very good, especially left tackle Ryan Clady. Manning will also have a young receiver in Demaryius Thomas who appears poised to break out after a 551-yard season in 2011.
Denver's defense was a big part of their resurgence last season so Manning will be coming to a well-balanced team.
This is a big move for Denver and one that changes the landscape of the NFL. Assuming Manning is healthy, the Broncos should be one of a handful of teams who have legitimate Super Bowl dreams.
The long wait is over and Peyton Manning has finally made his decision, signing with the Denver Broncos. With Manning now in place, this now means that the Broncos will attempt to move quarterback Tim Tebow, according to a report by Adam Schefter of ESPN.
More filed to ESPN: And now that Peyton Manning has directed his agent to get deal done with Denver, Broncos will try to trade Tim Tebow.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 19, 2012
The question becomes: what teams will be interested in Tim Tebow? The easy answer is the Jacksonville Jaguars, but the same front office that was not interested in him in the draft is still in place, drafted Blaine Gabbert a year ago and just signed Chad Henne to be the backup. The Miami Dolphins are another possible destination, as they've been left at the alter now multiple times, and owner Stephen Ross wants to make a splash.
The other question is, what is Tebow's trade value? It's obvious now that the Broncos are going to try to unload Tebow and will want to recoup some of the value they gave up getting him, which was a first round pick. It's highly unlikely a team who looks desperate to trade him will get back any kind of significant value.
Both ESPN's Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter reported on Monday morning that free agent Peyton Manning has chosen the Denver Broncos as his next team. The two sides will start negotiating a contract, but according to the ESPN report, the deal is expected to get done.
So what kind of contract can Manning expect?
It should be one similar to the five-year, $90 million deal he agreed to with the Indianapolis Colts last year. In that contract, a huge signing bonus was due on March 8 of this year, which is ultimately what helped push Manning out the door in Indianapolis.
Teams that were in the Manning sweepstakes knew the price tag ahead of time, so the money shouldn't be a major issue. The Denver Post reported over the weekend:
A third NFL source indicated that all involved teams are comfortable working off Manning's previous contract with the Indianapolis Colts, which was five years for $90 million, or an average of $18 million per year. Additionally, Manning was to receive $61.8 million through the first two years of his contract with the Colts.
Manning was also reportedly willing to give his next team some insurance on the contract in the instance he doesn't heal as quickly as hoped.
The Broncos were one of three known finalists along with the Tennessee Titans and San Francisco 49ers. There were no clear leaders in the race for Manning, but Denver-based reporters have been saying for more than a week now that the Broncos are the most likely destination.
The Broncos won the AFC West last season, and with Manning they'll be the favorite to repeat. In fact, they have to be considered a Super Bowl contender right now.
This will have a ripple effect throughout the league. The 49ers now must figure out what to do at quarterback, potentially re-signing Alex Smith. The Titans now revert their attention to their quarterbacks in house, Matt Hasselbeck and Jake Locker. The Dolphins and Cardinals, who were both in the race at one point, now look elsewhere for their quarterback of the future.
Seemingly spurned by the 49ers, free agent quarterback Alex Smith is reportedly visiting with the Miami Dolphins Sunday.
#Titans GM Ruston Webster: "This morning we traveled to Knoxville and had a workout with Peyton. I thought he looked comfortable...— Tennessee Titans (@tennesseetitans) March 17, 2012
"... throwing the ball and we had a good visit. This is another important step in the process." #Titans— Tennessee Titans (@tennesseetitans) March 17, 2012
With the Arizona Cardinals recently bowing out of the sweepstakes, Manning's current list of known suitors is comprised of the Titans, the Denver Broncos and the San Francisco 49ers. All three have worked out the Hall-of-Famer in the past week. His contract will reportedly be in the range of five years, $60 million.
The race for Peyton Manning continues but it does not include the Arizona Cardinals. After the Cardinals paid Kevin Kolb a $7 million bonus on Friday, head coach Ken Whisenhunt released a statement on the team's website officially bowing out of the Manning race.
The full statement from Whisenhunt, via the Cardinals official site:
"Regarding today's developments and our quarterback position, acquiring Peyton Manning is no longer an option for us.
"Since the end of last season we made it very clear that our plan was to head into 2012 with Kevin Kolb and John Skelton, let the process play out and - like at every position - go with the quarterback who gives us the best chance to win.
"Obviously something very unique and unexpected presented itself. We've said it many times: if there's an opportunity to make our team better we'll explore it; we view the potential of adding a first-ballot Hall of Fame quarterback as one of those. The organization quickly put together an aggressive plan to go after it. We're proud of that and feel very strongly about what we have to offer as a team and as an organization. In the end it didn't work out but from our perspective it was very positive and we certainly don't have any regrets about it.
"We sit here today in the same spot we were heading into the offseason. That's with two experienced quarterbacks who have both demonstrated positive things in the past and who we feel good about. Like we said at the end of the season when we won seven of the last nine games, carrying the momentum of that strong finish into 2012 is important and that remains unchanged."
Free agent QB Peyton Manning met with John Elway and other members of the Denver Broncos on Friday afternoon at Duke University, where Manning has been working out with his former coach, David Cutcliffe. Elway and the Broncos are the second known team to see Manning work out after the 49ers reportedly put him through a workout earlier this week.
Elway has been more active on Twitter than any other NFL executive, so it shouldn't be surprising that he sent out this tweet after watching Manning throw:
We enjoyed visiting with Peyton today in N.C. He threw the ball great and looked very comfortable out there. Watching him throw today was the next step in this important process for our team and Peyton. It was a productive visit and went well.
The Denver Post reported interested teams are working off the five-year, $90 million contract Manning signed last year with the Colts. That hasn't fazed the Broncos from being one of three known finalists, including the Titans and 49ers.
The Broncos contingent included Elway, head coach John Fox, GM Brian Xanders and a medical team. There's no known timetable for Manning's decision and it's still possible more teams jump into the mix, as the 49ers showed us on Friday.
For more on Manning and his decision, stay tuned to this StoryStream.
So all that stuff about the Tennessee Titans and Denver Broncos being the only two remaining teams in the race for Peyton Manning? Forget about it. There's actually a third team — the San Francisco 49ers. ESPN's Chris Mortensenreports 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh worked Manning out this week and the former Colts QB went through a physical with San Francisco. He has not visited the 49ers facility, according to the report.
The 49ers were speculated as a potential Manning landing spot but it wasn't much more than speculation until now. San Francisco was believed to be working on a contract with incumbent QB Alex Smith, but the two sides haven't come to an agreement. Sounds like Peyton Manning is the reason they haven't agreed to a deal yet.
The 49ers have long been viewed as one of the best fits for Manning. With the addition of Randy Moss last week, the 49ers receivers may not be the weakness we once thought they were. San Francisco made it to the NFC Championship game last season so if winning is a priority for Manning, the 49ers are as good of a choice as any.
Previous reports said Manning preferred to play in the AFC but he was open to the NFC. His brother, Eli, is in the NFC with the New York Giants.
The Denver Broncos and Tennessee Titans are the only two teams still alive in the Peyton Manning sweepstakes and now the numbers of Manning's expected contract are coming out. According to the Denver Post's Mike Klis, Manning's contract should be in the neighborhood of five years, $60 million.
An NFL source said Manning and his camp have narrowed their choices to the Broncos and Tennessee Titans. The parameters of the deal, according to the source, that both teams are working off: $60 million total, give or take, and a $30 million guarantee, give or take, spread over five years.
That's a lot of money but well worth it — if Manning can throw, which we don't exactly know yet. The Broncos are in North Carolina working Manning out. The Titans are also expected to see him throw at some point.
The Denver Post cites a Broncos source who says:
"We're still in it," said a Broncos source. "We don't know. We'll know more over the weekend."
The Titans and their "contract for life" also believe they're still in it.
While we await the next bit of Manning news, check out SB Nation's latest on YouTube. Bomani Jones asks: Can Peyton throw?
When we heard the Denver Broncos were flying east to work out free agent QB Peyton Manning, the obvious conclusion was that the Broncos were the leaders in the clubhouse for Manning, potentially getting close to inking a deal with him.
So this changes things a little bit. It's been assumed that Manning would throw for teams once he whittled his list down. It would seem that the Broncos and Titans are the finalists given the reports that he will throw for both teams.
We've now heard multiple reports that the plane leaving Denver and heading to North Carolina will, indeed, be carrying members of the Denver Broncos organization on their way to watch Peyton Manning work out at the indoor facility of Duke University.
ESPN's Adam Schefter has the list of the Broncos contingent making the trip: Executive VP John Elway, head coach John Fox, offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, quarterbacks coach Adam Gase, GM Brian Xanders and a medical team.
In other words, all the decision makers -- minus the owner. But it's a good bet that owner Pat Bowlen has given the Broncos team his full blessing, as well as his check book.
I figured the Manning talks would all be preliminary until he starts working out for teams. Lots of teams have shown interest in Manning but now that he's whittled his list down, it's time to get down to business and prove that he can throw the ball because I don't think any team -- well, maybe besides the Dolphins -- would guarantee him tens of millions of dollars before seeing him throw.
As Manning Watch looks like it might be coming to a close, Peyton Manning will be working out for the Denver Broncos at the Duke University indoor facility on Friday, according to a report by Chris Mortensen of ESPN.
General manager John Elway and the rest of the Broncos' brass are flying to Durham, NC on Friday to meet with Manning and hold the workout, with the race down to just two teams. The 14-year veteran is expected to choose between the Broncos and the Tennessee Titans. By all accounts, this will be Peyton Manning's first actual "work out" for an NFL team, as he previously just met with teams.
The Peyton Manning sweepstakes are coming down to the Denver Broncos and Tennessee Titans, according to various reports. The Arizona Cardinals are still alive, but they seem unlikely at this point. The Miami Dolphins have reportedly been ruled out.
Denver reporters continue to indicate the Broncos are the favorite, and the latest news may help their argument. According to SB Nation's Broncos blog, Mile High Report, a Broncos plane is headed towards Manning.
A plane tied to the Broncos and Pat Bowlen, the same plane that took John Elway and John Fox to Stillwater, OK last week, the same plane that traveled to Miami to pick up Peyton Manning last week - the same plane that is NOW scheduled to fly to Raleigh, NC this morning. Manning has been in North Carolina visiting with Duke coach David Cutcliffe and was picked up and dropped off from North Carlina when he visited the Tennessee Titans.
Other Denver reporters have confirmed that John Elway is on his way there. This isn't evidence that the Broncos are about to sign, but it has to be considered good news for Denver if they are indeed visiting Manning. Denver hosted Manning for a visit last week.
If the Broncos can land Manning, the only remaining question is: Can he throw?
The latest Peyton Manning rumors have been centered around the Denver Broncos and Tennessee Titans as the two leaders in the clubhouse for Manning's services. The Miami Dolphins recently set up a visit with free agent QB Matt Flynn, which suggested that they could be out of the running for Manning.
According to Jeff Darlington of NFL.com, they are indeed out of the running. Darlington reports Manning personally called the Dolphins on Thursday to let them know that they're out of the running.
This can't be a total surprise because the Dolphins have appeared out of it for several days. Miami was at one point considered the favorites for Manning but that didn't last long.
The Dolphins will now turn their focus to Flynn. That the Dolphins contacted Flynn on Thursday told us that they were likely out of the race and with the NFL.com report, we now know that they are.
For more on the Dolphins, check out SB Nation's Dolphins blog, The Phinsider.
The race for Peyton Manning continues nearly three days into the NFL free agency period. As usual, there's no clear answer on exactly who is the leader in the clubhouse for Manning's services but most of the buzz is starting to center around the Denver Broncos and Tennessee Titans. ESPN reports the Broncos and Titans are in the lead while everyone else, which means the Miami Dolphins and Arizona Cardinals, are considered longshots.
VIDEO: Can Peyton Manning Throw?
Denver was Manning's first visit and reports out of Denver continue to say the Broncos are the favorite and expect to land Manning. That would bring on a situation in which Manning would replace Tim Tebow (which could make the Internet explode). That is unless Tebow is traded. We're still not really sure how that situation would work out other than knowing that Manning would be the starter.
The Titans not only want Manning to play quarterback for them but also take a front office role after his playing days are over. The "contract for life" from Bud Adams is what this is being dubbed as. From a football standpoint, Manning makes a lot of sense with a very good running back in Chris Johnson and a solid receiver in Kenny Britt. Plus, the Titans are starting to shore up their offensive line, signing G Steve Hutchinson. That said, they do have Matt Hasselbeck on board as the starter and 2011 first-round pick Jake Locker backing him up. In the event Manning signs, you'd be moving on from Hasselbeck and likely keeping Locker to back up Manning.
Titans or Broncos? What do you think?
Peyton Manning's free agency tour has included stops in Denver and Arizona, along with a meeting with Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin and members of the Titans front office. It's unclear if there's a leader for the former Colts quarterback's services, but several reports indicate that if the Dolphins aren't already out of the race, then their chances of landing Manning are small and getting smaller.
Chris Mortensen reported on ESPN that the Titans, Broncos and Cardinals were still alive in the race for Manning; he didn't mention the Dolphins. ESPN colleague Adam Schefter characterized Miami's chances of landing Manning as "dwindling."
The Dolphins set up a visit with free agent QB Matt Flynn, which suggests they're considering other options. At one point, the Dolphins were believed to be the favorites, but things have changed considerably since then. Flynn is the next best option behind Manning but they do have competition for him, as he has visited the Seahawks.
For more on the Dolphins, check out SB Nation's Dolphins blog, The Phinsider.
The Tennessee Titans have been in heavy pursuit of free agent quarterback Peyton Manning, hosting him for a visit on Wednesday. Titans owner Bud Adams has made it known that he wants Peyton Manning on the Titans by any means necessary, even reportedly offering Manning a contract "for life."
Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams tells KHOU 11 Sports reporter Matt Musil that he has offered free agent quarterback Peyton Manning a contract "For Life" to stay in Tennessee.
I'm not sure what kind of money you can get for a "For Life" contract per year, or the kind of guaranteed money you can get. Adams also told KHOU 11 that he feels great about the team's chances to land Manning and all reports seem to indicate the race has come down to the Titans and the Denver Broncos.
For more on the Titans and the possibility of Manning landing in Tennessee, visit SB Nation's Music City Miracles.
Peyton Manning and Mario Williams lead the list of remaining free agents. A lot of talent is still available on the open market after two days of free agency.
The Tennessee Titans brass is meeting with free agent Peyton Manning on Wednesday, according to multiple reports. The Titans are sending head coach Mike Munchak, GM Ruston Webster and COO Mike Reinfeldt to the meeting with Manning.
This will be the fourth team Manning has met with but, according to a report from ESPN, he hasn't ruled any teams out and he also hasn't ruled out visiting other teams. He's also willing to work out for teams he considers serious finalists.
It's unclear if there's a leader at this point, nor when a decision could be made. At various points we've heard the Dolphins were the leader, and then the Broncos, and then the Cardinals and so on. There's no real sense on which way he's leaning, although both Miami and Denver reportedly think they can land him.
For more on the Titans and the possibility of Manning landing in Tennessee, visit SB Nation's Music City Miracles.
Owner Bud Adams has already come out and said he wants his team to sign Manning. The Titans should know quite a bit about the former Colts QB as they faced him twice a year in the AFC South.
If Chris Johnson can return to form, the Titans could be a nice landing spot for Manning. They also have Kenny Britt, who is a solid (but often in trouble) wide receiver.
For more on the Titans and the possibility of Manning landing in Tennessee, visit SB Nation's Music City Miracles.
The latest stop in the Peyton Manning free agency tour is expected to include the Tennessee Titans. NFL Network's Albert Breer reports Manning is expected to meet with Titans head coach Mike Munchak and offensive coordinator Chris Palmer at some point in the next day or so.
Manning has already visited the Denver Broncos and Arizona Cardinals. He also met with Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin.
The Titans interest in Manning is no secret after team owner Bud Adams came out and clearly indicated the team plans to pursue Manning. The Titans have Matt Hasselbeck and 2011 first round pick Jake Locker on the roster. Presumably, Hasselbeck would be the odd man out in this scenario and Locker would remain on the roster to learn under Manning.
It's unclear where the Titans, or any team for that matter, stand on Manning's wish list.
Free agent Peyton Manning met with the Denver Broncos and Arizona Cardinals over the weekend and we can now add a third team to his list -- the Miami Dolphins. According to ESPN's Chris Mortensen, Manning met with Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin between five and six hours on Monday. Other Dolphins staff members were included and the meeting took place in Indianapolis, not Miami.
The Dolphins seemed like a front-runner for Manning shortly after he was released last week but ever since then it seems like the momentum is heading in the opposite direction. Miami desperately needs a quarterback and think Manning is that guy, but it's not clear if Manning feels the same about Miami.
Manning's decision was at one point expected sometime before the start of free agency on Tuesday, but it's becoming clear that won't be happening. Looks like this will spill into later this week.
For more updates on Manning, stay tuned to this StoryStream.
Just 24 hours ago it was believed the Denver Broncos and Arizona Cardinals were the top two suitors for free agent Peyton Manning. But now a few other teams have hopped into the talks. It was previously reported Manning will talk with the head coaches of the Miami Dolphins and Tennessee Titans.
The Texans have Matt Schaub under contract and he's a fine quarterback. There's nothing wrong with him. But he's not Peyton Manning. Houston's offense is dangerous enough that adding Manning would likely make them among the favorites to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.
With the Titans also interested, that's two AFC South teams that have approached the idea of signing Manning. Of any teams, those in the AFC South should know Manning the best considering he faced them twice a year as a Colt.
On Monday morning a report from ESPN indicated that Peyton Manning was done with his free agent visits but apparently that's not the case. ESPN now reports that Manning will meet with Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin and Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak sometime in the next three days. The meetings will reportedly occur away from the teams' facilities.
It seems things have changed quite a bit in the last 24 hours. On Sunday night, it seemed the decision was coming down to the Broncos or Cardinals but the latest reports of Manning talking with the Dolphins and Titans may change that.
Initially, reports said Manning wanted to make his decision before free agency, which starts on Tuesday afternoon. With no contract talks yet, it would be a surprise if Manning found a new team by Tuesday afternoon.
For more updates on Manning, stay tuned to this StoryStream.
Over the weekend, Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams said publicly that he wanted the team to pursue free agent Peyton Manning. Adams saying it was one thing but that actually happening was another. Despite Adams' public plea, most of the talk over the weekend centered around the Denver Broncos and Arizona Cardinals, who both received a visit from Manning.
But now, according to NFL Network's Michael Lombardi, Tennessee officials are preparing for a visit from Manning in the next day or two. This runs contradictory to earlier reports that Manning wasn't going to make any more visits. It's unclear if the Titans are hoping Manning visits, or if this is something that's already been scheduled.
The Titans make some sense for Manning (as do most teams). They're in the AFC South, same as the Colts. Add in the fact that Manning went to college at the University of Tennessee, and there are some connections that make the Titans an intriguing possibility.
But they also have Matt Hasselbeck on the roster and spent a first-round pick on Jake Locker last April. Still, as Adams said over the weekend, when one of the greatest quarterbacks ever is available, you need to consider making a run at him, despite what you currently have on the roster.
According to a number of reports, the Broncos and Cardinals are in the lead for Peyton Manning's services. Which one should he choose? The Cardinals, and here are a few reasons why.
Re: Peyton Manning. Source says the #49ers are still focused on Alex Smith, not Manning. Team still has offer on table for Smith.— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) March 12, 2012
Alex Smith, the 49ers starting quarterback from the 2011 season, is currently scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent when NFL free agency starts 4 p.m. Tuesday. Smith had a resurgence in his career last season, putting up an efficient 3,144 passing yards with 17 touchdowns and just five interceptions, helping get the 49ers make it to the NFC Championship Game. According to Barrows, Smith is the top priority for the 49ers to sign.
Peyton Manning hasn't yet made a decision on his next team, but the free agency tour is over. Manning will not make anymore visits, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. This leaves the official visit count at two -- Denver Broncos and Arizona Cardinals. Those two teams also appear to be the front-runners. ESPN is calling the Broncos favorites with the Cardinals still in contention.
That Manning hasn't visited other teams, like the Miami Dolphins, doesn't necessarily mean they're out. As Schefter pointed out on SportsCenter, Manning played in two Super Bowls in Miami. He knows their facilities. So, from what it sounds like, you can't totally rule out the Dolphins.
The San Francisco 49ers and Tennessee Titans were floated as two teams that could possibly get involved. Titans owner Bud Adams made it clear that he wanted his team to pursue Manning. The Chiefs and Seahawks were also reportedly interested in Manning, but ESPN and the Denver Post report that neither are still in the running.
Things can change, but it appears the Manning pursuit is down to the Broncos and Cardinals, with the Dolphins hoping for a late push.
Manning's decision isn't expected before Tuesday, the start of free agency.
The Peyton Manning decision was widely expected to be wrapped up before Tuesday afternoon, the start of free agency, Now, according to ESPN, that's unlikely. Manning's decision isn't expected to happen before Tuesday. Free agency starts at 4 p.m. ET on that day.
Manning has made two visits so far, and it appears those may be the only two he takes. He has returned from his Denver Broncos and Arizona Cardinals visits and headed back to his Miami home. It's believed he could potentially talk to the Dolphins, considering he's close enough to them.
As far as we know, Denver and Arizona are the leading candidates at this point. Both ESPN and the Denver Post have reported the Chiefs and Seahawks are out of the race. Other reports have disputed that.
Manning's agent, Tom Condon, did not accompany him on either visit, which means the two sides haven't been talking contract. A deal as big as the one Manning is expected to receive could take some time to work out.
The Peyton Manning race is believed to be led by the Denver Broncos and Arizona Cardinals. Those are the only two teams Manning has visited at this point. It's unclear if he will visit the Miami Dolphins. The Denver Post has reported both the Seattle Seahawks and Kansas City Chiefs did not get a visit with Manning and they are out of the race.
With Denver and Arizona being his only two visits, you have to think they have a leg up on everyone at this point. In Denver, John Elway is a star quarterback himself and owner Pat Bowlen isn't shy about doing what it takes to get Manning. In Arizona, Manning would have arguably the best receiver in the game in Larry Fitzgerald, as well as warm weather and a terrific facility.
Things can change but those are the two teams we're hearing about the most and Manning's decision time is nearing. According to reports, Manning hopes to make a decision as soon as Tuesday, which is the same day free agency kicks off.
Manning hasn't discussed contract with any of the teams as his agent, Tom Condon, hasn't accompanied him on his visits. The contact must not be something teams are too worried about if it's not a major topic of conversation on those visits.
Peyton Manning's Denver visit is over and the free agent quarterback is heading to Arizona, according to reports on Saturday. Manning spent the last 24 hours visiting with Broncos officials, but will continue to explore his options as potential suitors vie for his services.
The report comes from Jay Glazer.
Peyton Manning free agent tour is scheduled for its next stop as Cards sources say he's set to fly to AZ to meet w Coach Wisenhunt 2nite— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) March 10, 2012
Glazer also adds that Manning leaving Denver without a contract agreement means little at this point in the process.
Don't read into him leaving Denver without a deal. He never wanted to just take one visit & sign. Cards up next. Still gonna b fast process— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) March 10, 2012
Manning seems dead set on getting this all over with quickly, and will likely continue his whirlwind tour throughout the next week. For now, he'll spend some time with the Cardinals, though nobody is sure where he'll head next. One thing seems certain early in the process: Manning has no shortage of landing spots and still stands to make a significant amount of money, despite concerns about his neck.
The Kansas City Chiefs are one of the dozen teams connected to Peyton Manning and his free agency tour and it sounds like KC's interest is very real. Chiefs owner Clark Hunt talked with Darren Rovell on NBC Sports Network, an interview that will air on Friday night, and confirmed that the Chiefs have an interest in Manning.
"He's one of the greatest players in the history of the league," Hunt said. "He's also an incredible person. We feel really good about the team we have in Kansas City going into the 2012 season, but we'll look for any opportunity to improve and, of course, that includes Peyton Manning."
There was a report that the Chiefs had offered Manning a contract but several other reports have shot that down. Hunt declined to address whether that was accurate.
Having an interest in Manning is one thing but he has to have an interest in you, too. The Chiefs have a decent case for Manning with a good running back in Jamaal Charles, No. 1 receiver in Dwayne Bowe and a rising defense.
The Denver Broncos are the first team to land a visit with free agent Peyton Manning but that doesn't necessarily mean they're the favorites. The Broncos are simply the first of multiple visits but the fact that Manning is making a trip shows that the Broncos at least have a shot at the former Colts QB.
Most importantly, ESPN reports that there will be no contract negotiations during the visit. Thus, it seems unlikely Manning will have a contract from Denver on Friday night. One ESPN source said of the visit:
"There is absolutely no preferred choice at this time. This is typical (Manning) doing his own research because it's a first-time and only-time process from a free-agent vantage point. Physically seeing facilities and the geography of cities that he is not acquainted with is part of his own research."
The Dolphins and Cardinals are two other teams he will reportedly visit. Dates and times of those visits aren't known but it's also been reported that he hopes to make a decision before Tuesday, the start of free agency.
There could also be interest from the much heralded mystery team at some point. They always seem to pop up in big free agent pursuits.
Free agent quarterback Peyton Manning is still considering all of his options across the NFL, but the Denver Broncos have specifically been named as a team that contacted Manning's representatives earlier this week. Multiple teams have apparently contacted Manning's reps — including the Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks, Washington Redskins, Miami Dolphins, Kansas City Chiefs and New York Jets — but now Mike Klis and Woody Paige of The Denver Post are reporting that Manning has the Broncos on his short list, and is in Denver to visit with members of the Broncos front office on Friday night.
The first day of free agency is March 13, and Manning would reportedly like to make a decision before that time. The move could have huge implications for the future of the franchise as well. There is also talk that Tim Tebow would be traded if Manning makes his way to Denver, so there are multiple levels of intrigue to the story.
The Arizona Cardinals are one of a handful of teams believed to be in the race for free agent Peyton Manning. We're still early in the process -- Manning has been a free agent for about 48 hours -- but it sounds like the Cards have as good of a shot as anyone to land Manning.
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic joined ESPN's Mike and Mike to talk about Manning's next destination and Somers pegs the Cards chances at 50-50 right now.
"I don't expect it, but I think the chances are about 50-50. The Cardinals have as much going for them in the competition as any of the cities you mentioned. They've got a coach who has proven he can adapt an offense to fit a veteran quarterback. They have an elite receiver, an up-and-coming young defense. They are going to play maybe 11, 13 dome games next year. Who knows? The one guy we haven't heard from in all this is Peyton and what is important to him. The rest of us are just speculating. But since we're speculating, I think the Cardinals should be right in it."
I think the key line there is: "The rest of us are just speculating." This is the most high-profile free agent in history so we knew the rumor mill would be out of control (and it is).
But until we hear otherwise, the Cardinals are still a possibility.
Peyton Manning has been a free agent for about two days now and we've seen at least 12 teams connected to him. Most of them are obvious but one of them is a bit of a surprise -- Denver Broncos. A lot of reports are including Denver as a possible destination and Peter King of SI.com reports the Broncos "desperately" want to land Manning.
Reports out of Denver aren't so promising. Woody Paige wrote this week that Manning would not be coming to the Broncos.
A lot of teams are desperate but Denver does make some sense. John Elway, current Broncos exec, won two Super Bowls at age 37 and 38. Manning will be 36 when the 2012 season starts so he may want to be around someone who's done what he's trying to do at his age.
The question with the Broncos is what you do with Tim Tebow. Is he traded? Benched? We're not really sure what happens with that but it's obvious the Broncos have been slow to buy into Tebow.
I also have to give a tip of the hat to SB Nation's Brad Wells, who predicted early on that Denver would land Manning. Turns out that may not be too far off. Check out that video here.
Peyton Manning's free agency is causing more than a few fanbases to get excited. We spoke with SB Nation's NFL bloggers whose teams have been tied to Peyton about what the QB could do for their squad, and why their team is, or isn't, the best fit.
The Peyton Manning free agent talk continues. Manning has yet to make a decision on where he will play football next season, and there aren't any solid reports on what he's thinking right now. As best we can tell, there are a half dozen or so teams in the mix.
Reports have said Manning will make his decision sometime within a week, but ESPN's Chris Mortensen, who spoke to 620 KTAR in Arizona, said it could be sooner than that.
"I really get a sense that this thing is going to happen fairly quick. We've said within seven days, I mean I can feel it within three or four days," Mortensen said. "I assure you he has had some personal discussions with maybe, you would say, the priority teams in his mind."
One of the other big questions is Manning's health. Everyone wants to see him throw the ball, and teams will want to have more medical assurances before putting millions of dollars into Manning. Mortensen predicted that Manning is about 85-90 percent healthy. All signs are that he'll play in 2012, though we can't say that for sure.
Mortensen also noted, as we've heard before, that Manning won't necessarily make this all about money.
"He's not going to go to the highest financial bidder," he said. "He's going to make his money, but he wants to go to a franchise where when he walks into a locker room that he knows for the most part the coaching staff and the organization is about football."
But the money probably won't hurt. Manning made $26 million last season and would've been picking up a $28 million check from the Colts had he not been released. Whomever is signing him will be giving him a huge contract. That's a given and probably something multiple teams are willing to do. Mortensen suggested that AFC teams may have a leg up in this race, so perhaps the Dolphins are in the lead at this point.
Throughout the Peyton Manning free agent process we've been seeing people say Manning would prefer to play in a dome or a city with nice weather. Why? The simple answer is that the better the weather, the better Manning plays, at least according to stats provided by the Elias Sports Bureau.
ESPN New York dug up this nugget from Elias while talking Manning:
His winning percentage outdoors is .649, but it drops each month, according to the Elias Sports Bureau -- .700 in September, .680 in October, .655 in November and .565 in December/January (13-10, including 0-3 in January). And now he has a neck issue to consider.
Manning played in a dome while with the Colts. The weather part may just be a preference and not a dealbreaker, sorta like him preferring to play in the AFC over the NFC. But it's obvious why he wants to be in a dome or a city with nice weather -- he plays much better in that weather.
For more on the Manning free agent story, stay tuned to this StoryStream.
The Peyton Manning free agent sweepstakes will not include two teams picking high in the 2012 NFL draft. According to various reports, neither the Minnesota Vikings nor Cleveland Browns will be pursuing Manning. The Vikings pick third in April's draft, while the Browns are fourth.
There's an argument that the Vikings should make a run at Manning -- as there is for almost every NFL team -- but they just drafted Christian Ponder last season. They should be motivated to make that work. Besides, they've gone the veteran quarterback route twice in recent years, signing Brett Favre in 2009 and trading for Donovan McNabb in 2011. Neither vet could get it done.
Browns GM Tom Heckert confirmed that Manning isn't someone the team would be pursuing, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. I'm not sure they'd be able to entice him to Cleveland, anyway.
The Browns appear to be focusing their efforts on the NFL draft in April. Reports say they're interested in moving up to the Rams No. 2 overall pick in order to select Robert Griffin III. But we're still quite a ways away from the draft, so that stance could change.
The Washington Redskins have been viewed as one of the potential destinations for Peyton Manning now that he's a free agent, but a report out of D.C. suggests that's unlikely to happen. Chris Russell of ESPN 980 spoke on SportsCenter on Thursday and citing sources said Manning's camp has made it clear that he doesn't want to play for the Redskins.
"A couple of different sources inside the organization have told me that Manning's camp made it pretty clear to Redskins officials he doesn't want to come here," said Russell. "... There's lots of reasons for that. His brother Eli, the colder weather, the whole situation down in Miami and so on and so forth. But unless that changes - and I'm taking my sources at their word - I don't think Manning's coming here to D.C."
The Eli factor has been one of the main reasons I've been sliding the Redskins down my list. Bill Polian said on a radio show recently that the hype of playing Eli wore on Peyton whenever the brothers played against each other. A move to Washington would mean meeting Eli at least twice a year.
A big offer from the Redskins could change a lot of things but, for now, it doesn't appear the Redskins are among the front-runners like we once thought they were.
The free agency rumor mill is churning as we enter day two of Peyton Manning's free agency tour. Except, the tour hasn't gone anywhere. There are no official visits set up for Manning at the moment but there's a good chance there will be some interest in the Miami Dolphins.
The Dolphins are expected to be one of the teams in pursuit of Manning and Reggie Wayne, Manning's former teammate in Indy, thinks Miami makes a lot of sense, especially if he can come along for the ride. Via WQAM in Miami:
"I mean, I can see it and I'm definitely not opposed to it. He's a great worker and I consider myself a great worker, and when you put great workers together good things happen. So me being in his trail onto Miami? I would love it. I would definitely love it. I am totally available, my phone is working. Make sure you put that out there - my phone is working. I've paid my bills ahead of time just so we don't have no problems. So I am ready for anything that comes right now. So I can definitely see that in the mix also."
Manning throwing to Wayne and Brandon Marshall? With Reggie Bush coming out of the backfield? That makes a lot of sense. Right now, the Dolphins seem to have as good of a shot as anyone to land Manning. And it's been reported that Manning and Wayne wouldn't mind being a package deal.
Let's just wait for his first official visit, though. Check out the rest of Wayne's quotes at Sports Radio Interviews.
For more on the Dolphins interest in Manning, check out SB Nation's Dolphins blog,The Phinsider.
The Peyton Manning decision is expected sometime in the next week. ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Manning will be talking with free agent suitors and is expected to make his decision within a week or so. Free agency opens on March 13 but because Manning was released by the Indianapolis Colts Wednesday, he is free to sign with any team right now.
There are a number of teams who have reportedly reached out to Manning's camp, including the Arizona Cardinals, New York Jets, Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks and Kansas City Chiefs. The Miami Dolphins and Washington Redskins are also expected to show interest in Manning.
Manning reportedly prefers to play for an AFC team but is open to the NFC.
ESPN previously reported that 12 teams contacted Manning's camp within 24 hours of him becoming a free agent.
Manning is by far the best quarterback on the market and will continue to be when free agency opens next week. Matt Flynn is the only other free agent who most consider to be a potential starter but Manning is easily a better option than him.
Manning could elect to work out for a few teams. He said at Wednesday's press conference that he hasn't thought about his next team but that's hard to believe.
For more on Manning, stay tuned to this Story Stream.
This shouldn't be a huge surprise considering what a few of the top executives within the Chiefs organization have said this offseason. Head coach Romeo Crennel said at the NFL Combine he would be crazy not to consider Manning if/when he became available. GM Scott Pioli said there will be quarterback competition this offseason. Team owner Clark Hunt said the Chiefs have a lot of cap space because they plan to spend it.
So the Chiefs make sense as a potential Manning destination. They nearly won the AFC West last season and that was without Matt Cassel for half the season and early season injuries to Jamaal Charles and Eric Berry.
The AFC West is a weak division so adding Manning to any AFC West team, including the Broncos, instantly makes them the division favorite.
Do the Denver Broncos have legitimate interest in free agent Peyton Manning? They have Tim Tebow under contract after he took them to the playoffs last season but multiple reports are now connecting the Broncos to Manning.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the Broncos are a more realistic option for Manning than people realize. He reports the Broncos have, indeed, reached out to Manning's camp. Locally, Vic Lombardi of the Denver CBS affiliate reports that the Broncos are "serious players" in the hunt for Manning.
SB Nation recently released a YouTube video on Manning's next home and our Colts blogger, Brad Wells, predicted the Broncos would be the choice. Looks like that could be coming to fruition.
This brings up a few questions, starting with what the Broncos would do with Tebow. Trade him? Bench him? We don't know any of that. The Broncos haven't been shy about saying they'll be looking for quarterback competition this offseason. We always assumed the end result of that competition would be Tebow remaining the starter.
Maybe not. Maybe the Broncos are actually serious about Manning. They've joined the list of a half dozen or so teams that are considered potential Manning destinations.
For more, visit SB Nation's Broncos blog, Mile High Report, where they're wondering if Denver is the dark horse candidate for Manning.
Shortly after Peyton Manning was officially released by the Indianapolis Colts, former NFL player Marshall Faulk said on NFL Network that Manning likely doesn't want to play in the NFC because that would prevent a potential Peyton vs. Eli Super Bowl. Faulk played with Manning in Indy and has ties to his father, Archie, so the report is noteworthy.
ESPN's Adam Schefter, however, reports that Manning "prefers" to play in the AFC but is open to an NFC team.
If this means the AFC teams have a leg up on the former Colts QB, then that's good news for the Dolphins, who are among the supposed front-runners in the Manning sweepstakes.
At least 12 teams have reportedly reached out to Manning within the first 24 hours of his free agency. He's expected to set up visits with a few select teams, though it's not known who those teams are yet.
For more on Manning in free agency, stay tuned to this StoryStream.
The Miami Dolphins are widely expected to add a quarterback this offseason, whether that's Peyton Manning, Matt Flynn or someone in the 2012 NFL draft. For now, the focus is on Manning and not Flynn, according to a report from Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports.
As for the Dolphins, the team has yet to express remote interest in free-agent quarterback Matt Flynn so far, even though Flynn just finished playing for new Miami head coach Joe Philbin. A team source said that's because Ross has told general manager Jeff Ireland to put the full-court press on Manning.
Flynn isn't technically a free agent until March 13 but teams usually put out feelers ahead of time. Apparently that isn't happening with him. The Dolphins are widely viewed as one of the teams in the Manning pursuit, and Manning is obviously a better player than Flynn, so that makes sense.
Manning is in Miami but not to sign with the Dolphins. That's where he owns a home. The Dolphins are more than likely one of the dozen teams that have reportedly inquired about Manning.
The interest in Peyton Manning is, as expected, very high. According to a report from ESPN, 12 teams have already contacted Manning's reps. He officially became a free agent shortly after 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, which means nearly half the league has contacted him within 24 hours. Impressive.
There are a number of reports of teams reaching out to Manning's camp gauging his interest in playing for them. Those teams include the Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks, both of whom reportedly reached out to Manning's camp. The NY Daily News has reported the New York Jets reached out as well and the Denver Post reports the Denver Broncos will talk with Manning's camp, even if they're more likely to stick with Tim Tebow.
After the Wednesday press conference in Indianapolis, Manning flew home to Miami (which made everyone go crazy). His visit schedule is unknown at this point.
Check out SB Nation's latest at YouTube, '4 On The Floor', where they're talking about Manning's future.
The Seattle Seahawks will be in on the Peyton Manning sweepstakes. Shortly before Manning was officially released this week, reports surfaced that the Seahawks were ready to spend and do what it takes to land Manning.
Now that Manning is a free agent, reports state that the Seahawks will do just that. The Seattle Times cites a team source who says the Seahawks will be involved in the pursuit of Manning.
Manning said during Wednesday's news conference that he hasn't thought about his next team, but that can't be true. He's given it some thought, and I wouldn't be surprised if the Seahawks were on the short list. They're an attractive team with a good home crowd, decent weather throughout the year, a good running game and, most importantly, an owner (Paul Allen) who has plenty of money.
There are about a half-dozen teams people often mention when talking about Peyton Manning in free agency. The Dolphins and Redskins, of course, are two of them, but also mentioned are the Jets. Manning has been a free agent for only a couple of hours now and we have our first report that the Jets have contacted Manning's camp. Via NY Daily News:
How about this: The Jets have inquired about Peyton Manning's interest in playing for them, according to a source.
Manning is obviously an upgrade over Mark Sanchez. The Jets missed the playoffs for the first time in Rex Ryan's three-year tenure as head coach last year. There have been reports for weeks now that the Jets will be among the teams expressing interest in Manning.
Peyton's brother, Eli, plays in the same city. You have to wonder how that factors into it; would they prefer to play in different cities or is New York an option?
You can already tell this Peyton Manning free agency story is going to be pretty crazy. On Tuesday night, Manning and owner Jim Irsay flew from Miami to Indianapolis for Wednesday's press conference. So, naturally, Manning went back home to Florida after the press conference.
I'm just gonna put it out thr..peyton that number 18 wld look gr8 in a dolphins uniform..steve ross let's go.. marlins & heat style..All in
I'm sure LeBron could hand out some better advice considering he has experience in this area.
For more on Manning, check out SB Nation's latest video at YouTube, talking Peyton Manning.
At 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Peyton Manning officially became a free agent. The Indianapolis Colts filed the paperwork with the league so it's all official. This means any time can begin pursuing Manning, which usually starts with a phone call to the agent.
The Colts probably already have a good idea of what the market is for him. They also probably have numbers in mind as far as a contract goes. With multiple teams potentially involved, Manning's going to have the leverage here, the ability to choose the best spot for him and he'll get paid a ton of money for it.
Except to start seeing reports of teams "inquiring" about Manning. There's already one such report from the Denver Post that states the Broncos will "at least check out his interest" but that in the end they're likely to stick with Tim Tebow.
Almost every team in the league should be at least exploring the idea of Manning. A team with a strong need at quarterback obviously makes the most sense, but Manning is regarded highly enough that even teams with good-but-not-great quarterbacks will be checking him out.
Pat Kirwan of CBSSports.com has an excellent look into what might be coming as Peyton Manning embarks on his first ever free agency tour. Put simply, Manning will control the entire process. Kirwan speaks from experience from the last time a free agent as highly regarded as Manning hit the market.
I was deeply involved in the attempt to recruit the late Reggie White when free agency first began back in 1993. He wouldn't even visit unless I guaranteed we would not be outbid for his services, he wasn't going to work out, and he wanted a press conference during his stop in New York.
Trust me, Peyton Manning will control this whole process.
That includes the medical parts of all this. Manning doesn't have to let the doctors of other teams examine him. He won't have to work out for a team, if he doesn't want to. That's significant because the biggest question mark with Manning is his health. That'll make a few teams uncomfortable.
Kirwan's entire article is worth a read but this part sums it up:
We are going to hear that at least a dozen teams are interested in "kicking the tires" on Peyton Manning. Forget about some investigative approach. Bring lots of cash and hope he likes your situation. A left tackle who can pass block, at least three good receivers and one great one. He can provide a few receivers if yours aren't up to par. He'll want a solid running back, nice weather, a defense that creates turnovers and a head coach and offensive coordinator that embrace the concept of him running the offense.
Now that the Indianapolis Colts have officially announced the departure of Peyton Manning we move onto the question everyone wants to know: where will he play in 2012? There are the favorites -- the Dolphins and Redskins -- and then there are some darkhorse candidates.
SB Nation's Brad Wells, who runs Stampede Blue, has a surprise candidate for Manning's next destination in SB Nation's latest YouTube offering:
The Broncos have been brought up by others and, while they're certainly not among the favorites, I can see why they'd be considered a dark horse candidate. John Elway was once an aging quarterback who managed to pull in a couple of Super Bowls.
Wells also brought up another good point: if Manning wins a Super Bowl with another team, is he the greatest quarterback of all time? He may not have the Super Bowl victories of a Tom Brady but winning it all with two teams would be very, very impressive.
Check out the full video above for more on the type of offense Manning will bring with him to his next team and just who that next team might be.
The Indianapolis Colts conducted a Wednesday press conference to officially announce the departure of Peyton Manning, who now becomes one of the most high-profile free agents of all time. This is a huge day for the rest of the NFL because quarterbacks of Manning's caliber rarely (if ever) become available in free agency.
Manning confirmed that he planned to play for someone in 2012, he's just not sure where. He was asked a few times about where he might play next season and he mostly side-stepped the question, choosing instead to reflect on his time in Indianapolis.
This town and this team mean so much to me. It truly has been an honor to play in Indiaanpols. I do love it here. I love the fans and I will always enjoy having played for such a great team. I will leave the Colts with nothing but good thoughts and gratitude for Jim, the organization, my teammates, the media and especially the fans.
I haven't thought yet about where I'll play but I have thought about a lot where I've been. I've truly been blessed. I've been blessed to play here and be in the NFL.
I got a feeling he's put at least some thought into where he'll play next.
Manning noted that he really isn't sure what the next step is for him because he's never been a free agent. But the rest of the league is ready and the bidding for Manning services starts now.
The Indianapolis Colts have done what we all knew they eventually would -- release Peyton Manning. The iconic Indianapolis quarterback now becomes a free agent, perhaps the most sought after free agent in NFL history.
The next question is: where does Manning play next?
You could point to a number of teams because, let's be honest, one of the greatest quarterbacks in history fits on just about every team. Manning will be wanted by a lot of teams.
One of the teams that makes a lot of sense is the Washington Redskins and, according to a report from the Washington Post, the Redskins plans to make an "aggressive" run at Manning.
Several people familiar with the Redskins' plans said the team is comfortable with the risks associated with signing Manning, who missed all of last season with the Colts after undergoing a series of neck surgeries. The team will pursue him intently, they said. Redskins officials declined to comment.
They currently have no quarterback of the future on the roster and Mike Shanahan once had a lot of success with an older quarterback by the name of John Elway. They have the cap space to afford him and many think they'll be pursuing him.
The problem with Washington, at least one I see, is that they play in the same division as Peyton's brother, Eli, and the New York Giants. Would he really want to play against his brother twice a year? Some wonder if he would. Manning has also played his entire career in Indianapolis, which is a far cry from the bright lights of Washington D.C. Some wonder if he would prefer a smaller city, like Indianapolis.
Manning will have plenty of options in free agency. Some team is going to instantly become a Super Bowl contender.
The Indianapolis Colts have a press conference planned for Wednesday afternoon, where they'll announce the departure of their iconic quarterback, Peyton Manning. This move has been expected for some time but the news of his release has caught the eye of Arizona Cardinals defensive lineman Darnell Dockett, who took to Twitter on Tuesday night and said: "Peyton to AZ!!!!!!"
The Cardinals are expected to be one of the teams in on the pursuit for Manning. They have Kevin Kolb under contract after signing him to a longterm deal last year, but that's not expected to stop them from at least exploring the idea of adding Manning.
Clearly, Dockett realizes what Manning could do for Arizona. He's one of the league's all-time great quarterbacks and these types of players rarely hit free agency.
The fact that Larry Fitzgerald, one of the game's best receivers, is with the Cardinals probably doesn't hurt Dockett's Manning campaign.
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