Well, this is getting interesting. With every passing hour, we hear more and more that the Denver Broncos are seriously in the Peyton Manning mix. Doug had some really good stuff yesterday about this in the Lard, and I decided to share some thoughts about the possibility as well.
If you believe Mike Freeman’s report from Thursday, the Broncos are the serious contenders along with Washington and Miami. Neither team has the salary cap room that the Broncos have, but both have spendthrift owners who are very focused on the marketing impact of making big-splash signings. Stephen Ross of the Dolphins is a guy who vastly overpaid for his team and has been spurned by both Jim Harbaugh and Jeff Fisher while trying to make big-splash coaching hires.
Ross will pay what it takes, and we all know that Daniel Snyder will as well. The question is whether Pat Bowlen will. If he were writing a check from his pocket, I doubt he would, but I think that the Broncos, as a corporate entity, are sitting in a good financial position and could afford to write a check for a $25 million signing bonus. This is going to be a situation where it probably takes $100 million over four years to get a deal done, due to the market forces of free agency. With so many teams in on Manning, there’s no risk discount available for his health either.
3:13 AM Klis: An NFL source said Manning may also visit the Arizona Cardinals and Miami Dolphins, but those trips have not been scheduled.
2:00 AM According to Mark Long, the Jaguars will not pursue Tim Tebow as long as Gene Smith is GM.
Who knows if Shahid "Chaka" Kahn has weighed in on this news.
1:56 AM Darren McKee: Rumor revision the dinner was only with 6 people at the men's grill upstairs. Bill in foxs name. Thems the rumors
12:37 AM Darren McKee: Just found out manning still at cherry hills cc. The club is closed but fox Elway manning all still there! C'mon boys keep him here!
12:11 AM Gary Miller: Manning wants to see what else is out there. He will go to Arizona tomorrow after short get together with Broncos in morning.
12:06 AM Gary Miller is reporting on CBS4 that Manning will depart tomorrow without a deal, as he is intent on making his other scheduled visits, presumably with Arizona and Miami. According to Miller, if the Broncos are able to sign Manning, they will try to trade Tebow, most likely to Jacksonville. If they don't land Peyton, then Tebow is still the starter heading into camp, as Miller tells it.
11:56 PM Shelley Smith on ESPN says Manning and the Denver brass may in fact continue their meeting tomorrow morning
11:32 PM Tim Tebow was in Tampa tonight to honor a wounded Army Ranger and had no comment on the Broncos' pursuit of Manning.
11:18 PM Who else but Shanny & Snyder? Adam Schefter: Trade will not change Redskins plans in pursuing Peyton Manning. Intend to talk with and try to sign him, even if considered a longshot.
Happy Friday, Broncos fans! According to multiple spine specialists, the health of Peyton Manning's neck is not an issue, assuming his fusion procedures were a success. Rather, they say the bone should actually be stronger now, and the only real question is whether Manning's arm strength is where it needs to be. The doctors USA Today spoke to echo these sentiments. With that out of the way, let's check in on Denver's presumed competition for his services:
The Dolphins are apparently all in on Manning, to the point that they haven't yet expressed interest in Matt Flynn. Coach Joe Philbin says the team hasn't yet spoken with the QB but confirms they hope to in the coming days. FWIW, Reggie Wayne would love to end up in Miami with Peyton.
Contrary to yesterday's report, Mike Florio is hearing that Peyton has not told Washington they're out of the running, even if that still appears the likely outcome.
Adam Teicher acknowledges that the Chiefs certainly have the cap room, but he thinks adding Manning would be quite a divergence from the franchise's plan to build for the long term.
As for the Niners, there is still a gap between them and Alex Smith in terms of both years and guaranteed money on a potential deal. Are they not budging because they're considering a run at Manning?
Per Vic Lombardi's series of tweets tonight:
I guess Tim Tebow was right all along: the Broncos organization doesn't give up and continues fighting to the very end.
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.
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.
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.
With the rise of dominant tight ends like New England's Rob Gronkowski and the Saints' Jimmy Graham last season, and teams starting to see the position in a new (and very old) light, it was unfortunate to see that the TE pickings remain very limited this year. Yet, there's a chance one or two will surprise people down the road. The main reason is that the advent of the spread offenses in college have diminished the value of the position on that level, and fewer colleges are turning out legitimate TE candidates for the draft. There’s a disconnect there that will have to be worked out eventually, but for right now, all that matters is the options that are going to be available.
Georgia's Orson Charles and Clemson's Dwayne Allen were clearly the class of their group, with Coby Fleener of Stanford not participating. Both are extremely well put together - Allen looks a bit bigger, but Charles is by far the most defined in terms of his musculature. One thing that I look for is the level of muscular development - do they look more like a college kid or an NFL player? Are they at least slightly ripped? Do they have strong calves? Those are essential to anchor and cut well - Charles was the most impressive in that area, and in several others. If they block in line, do they have the bubble for it? How do they hold their hands in the rapid-fire drills? Are they natural receivers, or do they struggle to have their hands in position?
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Pittsburgh's decision not to tag Mike Wallace means any team can ink the 25-year-old wideout to a deal the cap-strapped Steelers are presumably unable to match, with only a first-round pick going back as compensation. Of course, this would be quite the bargain for most teams when considering Wallace's young age and exceptional skills, especially if they happen to pick late in this year's first round, like the Broncos, Patriots, and Niners do.
Mike Tanier thinks Denver's abundance of cap space and their need for a playmaking receiver who gets himself open regardless of scheme makes the Broncos a perfect fit for Wallace. Tanier points to Wallace's terrific numbers on screens and bombs as a perfect complement for Tim Tebow's abilities, and he also envisions Denver utilizing Wallace on plenty of end arounds. Sounds like a no-brainer - who wouldn't be happy with Wallace as Denver's 2012 first-round choice? No matter who the QB is long-term in Denver, Wallace would potentially be his immediate favorite target, with Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker suddenly finding a lot more room to roam.