Per the master, Vic Lombardi:
Just heard from my peoples (sic). Broncos now 95% confident he'll sign with Denver. Their number, not mine...Broncos were contacted by manning TONIGHT
The Broncos wouldn't use this kind of language (would they?) knowing Lombardi is about to send this news out to the world. The other 5%? Let's call it the margin of error. This is all but done, Bronco Country--according to someone.
UPDATE: Lindsay Jones and Michelle Beisner are throwing some lukewarm water on Vic's story. Not sure what to make of the situation, but Lombardi has been all over this story from the beginning. Someone inside Dove Valley believes the Broncos got them a HOF QB not named Elway. The cook perhaps?
Broncos official wants it known: Manning didn't call team today or tonight & inform they're 95% fave. Manning source already refuted to me
Okay, who in the hell hacked Vic Lombardi's twitter account in the last hour?
TOTALLY TUBULAR TRIPLE UPDATE: Lombardi appears to be crumbling under the avalanche:
Learning how powerful Twitter really is. Not trying to cause an uproar. Is this really life or death? Let's sit back and wait.
I'd hate to be Vic if the Broncos don't get Manning at this point because no, it really isn't life or death. It's football.
Team-by-team cap space, as of March 11
Broncos: $44.7 million under.
Chiefs: $32.5 million under.
Seahawks: $29.8 million under.
Titans: $28.1 million under.
49ers: $21.8 million under.
Dolphins: $11.8 million under.
Texans: $4.7 million over.
Cardinals: $16.4 million over.
If it's money that matters, the Broncos have the ability to really go all in. There isn't a team in the list of potential Manning dance partners with more straight cash, homey.
Bring it, Cardinals.
Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams wants to sign Peyton Manning
“He is the man I want. Period,” Adams said. “And the people that work for me understand that. They know who I want. I want Mr. Manning with the Titans and I will be disappointed if it doesn’t happen.”
“I hope to be one of the teams he looks at,” the 89-year-old Adams said. ”Since he went to school in Tennessee I think Tennessee is where he should be. I think he could play for two or three years. I think he’s the guy that could come in and turn this around for us.
“That’s why I am so anxious to get him to come visit with us and I want him on my team. I could sit down with him and show him what (we’d be willing to pay). If he would come (meet) with me he would be happy with what he’d get.”
“I want him to be with me the rest of his working period of his life,” Adams said, “even when he doesn’t want to play anymore.”
“But I want Manning. I’d love to see him in Titan blue after watching him so many years with the Colts,” said Adams, the team founder. “I will be upset because if I didn’t get him. I want him. I am ready to do what it takes to get him aboard and I think he’d be the guy to get us into the playoffs.”
Wow, Bud - tell us how you really feel...
Sympathy for the Tebow
But just because it’s smart doesn’t mean it isn’t tacky. It has to gut Tebow to see those photographs of Manning walking into Broncos headquarters accompanied by Elway and Fox…
...If Tebow is shoved out of a franchise he revived, I can’t wait for the day that he comes back and plays the Broncos. I want to see 6-of-22 passing for 78 yards. I want to see passes that wobble like Zip-Loc bags full of soup. But I also want to see a last-minute drive win it. I’ll be pulling for Tebow to exact a Tebow-like revenge.
[Insert bible verse regarding revenge here].
11:45 PM No word yet if Tim Tebow plans to drop the "2" from GB².
11:11 PM The way Doug Farrar hears it, the Chiefs aren't going quietly: Just talked to a reliable source in KC -- the Chiefs aren't out of it either. Productive meetings between KC and Peyton's people.
11:07 PM As Mike Florio reports, the Cardinals have serious work to do to create cap space if they want to sign Manning: The Cardinals are $16.4 million over the cap, as adjusted to reflect $2 million in 2011 carryover and $1.333 million in downward adjustments. Amazingly, the Cardinals could have carried over $7.04 million. They opted only to carry over $2 million.
Not sure why the Cards didn't carry over the full amount. Did they not think this all the way until the end?
8:45 PM Klis reports that contracts were never discussed on either of Manning's visits to Denver and Arizona; Bowlen met with Manning for 20-30 minutes and Bowlen said he wants Super Bowls, not division titles; Brandon Stokley and John Lynch met with Manning while in Denver; Arizon was "red carpet" while Denver was "low key;" finally, Klis believes this could drag on until Tuesday if the Titans and/or 49ers were to make a run at Manning.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Peyton Manning is currently in Arizona to visit with the Cardinals after having departed Denver last night . Expectations are that Manning will head back to his Miami home sometime tonight, potentially meet with the Dolphins at some point, and make his decision by Tuesday morning and the start of free agency.
Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen are reporting that Denver and Arizona are the favorites to sign Manning, who is apparently refusing Seattle's advances. Their source who spoke with Peyton sometime before his meeting with the Cardinals says Manning appears to be "leaning toward Denver."
Back in Denver, Woody Paige is pompously reminding us that he and Mike Klis were the first to report Manning's visit to Dove Valley despite having self-servingly written three days ago that Denver had no shot at landing the QB.
He says the two parties spoke for more than 15 hours between Friday and Saturday, and the Broncos apparently told Peyton they are willing to sign some of his fellow ex-Colts via free agency. According to Paige, Manning's people reached out to the Texans to gauge interest but were told the team is not interested (which John McClain of the Chronicle had made clear from the start).
Tebow stops at D1 training facility and meets with young boy with Leukemia
What they didn’t expect was not one, but several phone calls from the quarterback himself. Somehow Tebow learned Preston has Acute Myeloid Leukemia and is not responding to treatments. Tebow asked if he could meet their little boy in Tampa. Tebow was in town hosting a training experience at the D1 facility he co-owns.
“Whats up man,” said Tebow.
Tebow not only met Preston. He took him out to the turf.
“Are you ready to catch it? Are you chasing me?” said Tebow.
Tebow isn't talking to the media, but give him props for staying the course on meeting this little boy. There is no doubt he was facing distraction after distraction today.
Tebow made this little guy's world; completion percetage was immaterial.
BTW, the Broncos have 17 other FAs, not including tagged K Prater. DT Brodrick Bunkley only one Broncos trying to tie up before Tuesday.
If true, this means Denver is willing to let LB Wesley Woodyard, RB Eddie Royal, DT Marcus Thomas, and LB Mario Haggan test the market.
Jim Saccomano, Vice President of Public Relations for the Broncos, accomplished something today worth noting. He combined his typical effervescent I've been in this game longer than y'all have hubris and combined it with his other chief quality--namely, ass kissing.
First, he managed to bang out this tweet:
Critics are always there, but what TR said about the process remains true--the credit belongs to the one in the arena. #fb— Jim Saccomano (@broncos_sacco) March 10, 2012
This is a constant Sacco theme, and it goes something like this: critics suck, but we know what we are doing over here. Of course, he said this before Josh McDaniels, during Josh McDaniels, and after Josh McDaniels. He also did it before Tebow, during Tebow, and perhaps (now) after Tebow. In short, every decision the Broncos make is right, right now. I'd find this sort of loyalty laudable if it weren't purchased with six figures.
1:05 AM Steve Nash is now putting himself into the Manning chase on the side of the Cards. "It'd be a great fit here," Nash said. "There is a good offensive line and the best wide receiver in the game (Larry Fitzgerald), so that speaks for itself."
11:44 PM Alfred Williams places the Broncos' chances of landing Peyton Manning at 90%, for what that's worth
11:30 PM Kent Somers: Peyton Manning is definitely in Arizona, sources confirm
8:40 PM Mike Florio: A source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT that Manning currently is “making it up as he goes.” Per the source, Manning never envisioned being in this situation, and he simply hadn’t planned for it...Which means that it will be critical for the various suitors to establish with Peyton a real connection that will allow him to believe it’s the right move, wherever he ends up moving...In this regard, there’s also a benefit to being the last team who meets with Peyton. If it’s a close call, the folks he’s with when he’s close to making up his mind will have a decided advantage.
7:40 PM Fox31 in Denver: A source told FOX31 Sports that Manning’s visit went “very well” and Broncos management “feel(s) strongly they are the frontrunners at this point. The source indicated that Manning feels there are “no negatives with the Broncos.” Peyton would like to make a decision by Monday, but by Tuesday at the latest.
Sounds like Arizona has a small window here to blow Manning away. It better be all that and a bag of chips if they are going to beat John Elway.