Has Manning already narrowed his choices?
One team official that contacted Manning’s agent, Tom Condon, says he got the definite impression that Manning indeed has already decided where he wants to go, or, at least, the handful of teams truly in the mix. The official, who did not want to be identified, believes that Miami, Washington and Denver are the front-runners.
But the official conceded the front-runner will be the team that, in the end, offers the most guaranteed money.
The official believes that contrary to some reports, Manning is indeed open to playing in the NFC, even in the NFC East where his brother Eli, is obviously king of the division.
Sources: Peyton Manning favors AFC
Peyton Manning’s camp is aiming to make a decision on where he will play next season within the next week, according to sources, who add that while Manning prefers to stay in the AFC, he is open to playing in the NFC.
Sources say 12 teams reached out to Peyton Manning’s representatives on Wednesday, after he was released, to gauge his interest in playing for their teams. Many of the teams already have been publicized, but some inevitably will want to keep it secret.
Per Adam Schefter:
Chiefs and Broncos have spoken to Peyton Manning's reps.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Jim Irsay and Peyton Manning held an emotional news conference yesterday to bid each other a public adieu. Irsay says the Colts will retire Manning's #18, and of course, Peyton says he still wants to play and is approaching full health.
Where will he end up? According to Adam Schefter, 12 teams have already contacted Manning's representatives at CAA. As we noted yesterday, Washington and Seattle are very interested in pursuing the QB, while Arizona, San Francisco, Kansas City, Houston, Miami, and the Jets have all been rumored to be in on Peyton. Last night, it was reported that some team in the Mountain West is serious about going after Manning despite already having a guy who sells a lot of jerseys and tickets.
Oh yeah, your Denver Broncos. Nah, they have no chance as Mike Klis tells it, after changing his report on Denver's apparent interest eleventy times yesterday. Why would Manning want to go to Denver? Doesn't he want to join a team closer to SB contention? The Broncos' offensive line suck elephant balls, no? We've already been told countless times that Denver's receivers are terrible. Would Manning want to play for John Fox, who hates to throw the ball, and why would Pat Bowlen spend the cash, as Mark Kiszla wonders? Besides, Tebow and Manning are represented by the same agents as super sleuth Woody Paige has discovered, or read yesterday afternoon on Mike Florio's blog. Denver is obviously the longest shot of all those teams, amirite?
Good buddy Vic Lombardi's Twitter feed is quite interesting tonight. He is reporting that, according to his sources inside Dove Valley, the Broncos believe they have a real shot at getting Peyton Manning. Other developments include the following:
None of this is shocking, of course, other than the part about the Broncos standing a serious chance of landing arguably the greatest quarterback ever to play the game.
Buzz builds that Broncos will make a run at Manning
Mike Klis of the Denver Post has reported that the Broncos will explore the possibility of signing quarterback Peyton Manning. There’s a buzz in league circles much stronger than that.
One league source told PFT in response to the Klis report that there’s a belief the Broncos quietly have positioned themselves to make a significant push to land Manning.
If successful, it makes sense. The only way to cure Tebowmania is to replace the current starter with someone clearly better, and a nearly healthy Peyton Manning is just that.
The Broncos have quietly positioned themselves? I'm not sure Adam Schefter's Twitter account qualifies as quiet.
Via Twitter, Adam Schefter is reporting the following:
Broncos will inquire about former QB Peyton Manning's availability and see if he has interest in coming to Denver.
Here's the first lesson in all of this: don't trust Mike Klis. He reported last night that the Broncos were not seeking Manning.
And the second lesson? I'm not sure, but it involves Tim Tebow in some way, shape, or form.
Broncos likely to stick with Tim Tebow, pass on Peyton Manning
But the primary reason the Broncos won’t pursue Manning is they need to find out more about their young quarterback Tim Tebow. By wobble or by will, Tebow took the worst team in football — and that’s exactly what their 7-24 record dating back to Nov. 1, 2009 made the Broncos, the NFL’s worst team in that span — and led them to the playoffs and a first-round upset of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2011.
Tebow led the Broncos’ to the NFL’s Elite Eight even though he ranked 34th out of 34 passing qualifiers in completion percentage.
Imagine how much the Broncos could win, and how special a quarterback Tebow could become, if he developed into, say, the 28th best passer?
Imagine if Tebow was the 28th best passer? That's supposed to get Broncos fans jacked up?
The Denver Post's original title was: Broncos likely to stick with Tim Tebow, pass on Peyton Manning. A few minutes later it was changed to: Broncos likely to stick with Tebow, but may pursue Peyton Manning. Shortly after that, it changed again to read: Broncos will inquire about Peyton Manning, source says, but likely to stick with Tebow.
On a slightly related note, Scott Hastings of 104.3 The Fan believes Manning would love Denver due to his close relationship with the Rockies' Todd Helton. Apparently, Manning visits Denver more often than we know.
All Dollars and No Sense in the NFL
Denver’s teams under Mike Shanahan played under Gibbs’s zone-blocking system and famously had a history of producing 1,000-yard backs out of thin air. After Gibbs spent three seasons during the mid-aughts in Atlanta with Warrick Dunn as the inherited featured back, he went to Houston and implemented a system that’s worked wonders with Foster and Steve Slaton. In both stops, the zone-blocking system worked with backs who were rookies with limited pedigrees.
Terrell Davis stands out as the obvious comp for Foster — unheralded back out of the SEC steps into the starting lineup and puts up numbers like he’s the best running back in football — but he’s also the cautionary tale. Just like Foster, Broncos fans would have rightly made the case that Davis deserved his big money after years of production. After the 1998 season, when Davis went over 2,000 yards and scored 21 touchdowns, the Broncos locked him up with a seven-year contract extension worth $56 million. Davis lasted four games before tearing his ACL and would average just 3.8 yards on his 312 carries before injuries forced his retirement. The Broncos paid Davis as a reward for his past performance and got very little future performance afterward. We’re not suggesting that Foster is about to tear his ACL, but it’s important to note that the Broncos got roughly similar production from Mike Anderson and then Clinton Portis for not much more than the league minimum.
It's hard to argue with Barnwell here, even though I love me some Terrell Davis. When you can make Reuben Droughns, Olandis Gary, and Mike Anderson go beast mode, it says something about the zone-running scheme. Steve Slaton and Arian Foster are simply the next in line, along with Redskins running back Roy Helu.
Peyton Manning: Redskins poised for a hard sell to superstar QB
The Washington Redskins are poised to make an aggressive effort in coming days to sign quarterback Peyton Manning, who is set to become perhaps the highest-profile free agent in NFL history after he is released by the Indianapolis Colts as early as Wednesday.
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.
One team, the Seahawks, plan to come out "checkbook blazing" for Manning, ESPN New York reported Tuesday, citing a league source.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! The Colts are holding a press conference today at noon ET to announce the release of some guy named Peyton Manning. Manning flew into town last night with Jim Irsay on the Colts owner's private jet, and he will become a free agent as soon as the Colts release him.
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is apparently still enamored with the idea of signing Manning; the Jets will consider adding the QB despite the presence of the Sanchize, although some within the organization figure Peyton would prefer to avoid the Jets' circus act. Arizona is considered a possible suitor, although they must decide whether to keep Kevin Kolb by St. Patrick's Day, when he's due a $7M roster bonus. Of course, everyone figures Shanny & Co. will be in on Peyton as well; Seattle has been mentioned as a potential landing spot, and of course Romeo Crennel made it clear the Chiefs are interested too.