Manning pursuit creating a mess in San Francisco? Lard 3-18-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Titans brass met Peyton Manning in Knoxville to see the QB throw, with GM Ruston Webster issuing a statement quite similar to that tweeted by John Elway the day before. Could be that Webster was tweaking his competitor, but it seems just as likely Manning (or CAA) may have directed both parties what to say. Speculation continues that Peyton will issue his decision shortly after this weekend, but as Adam Schefter stressed on SportsCenter this morning, such a timeline has not come directly from Manning himself. Meanwhile, David Climer reminds us that Peyton has always been quite tight-lipped regarding his career decisions, as Volunteers fans know quite well.

With the Niners having entered the fray after having dragged their feet on re-signing Alex Smith, Smith is now considering a change in representation, and today he is visiting the Dolphins, who are considered the favorites to land former Packers QB Matt Flynn. Flynn also visited the Seahawks and is said to be deciding between the two teams.

There's been plenty of talk this weekend about how well San Francisco has played the situation, but imagine how they'll look if Manning chooses Denver or Tennessee, and Smith ends up signing elsewhere as well. Whoever is quarterbacking the Niners this year, he'll have both Randy Moss and Giants SB hero Mario Manningham to throw to, after the wideout agreed to a two-year deal with the team yesterday.

Mike Klis thinks the Broncos appear to be underdogs again, and he wonders if the team would consider Matt Hasselbeck or Alex Smith if Manning ends up replacing one of them with their current teams. For some reason (perhaps to sell books), Klis is sticking with the notion that Tebow was the number one reason the Broncos turned their season around last year.

Mike Florio isn't so sure there's room enough by the Bay for the egos of both Manning and Jim Harbaugh. Tim Dahlberg of the AP thinks the Broncos have the best chance of landing Manning, and he thinks doing so would dramatically improve the play of Denver's wide receivers. The Oakland Tribune's Monte Poole thinks San Francisco should be the obvious choice for Peyton; Joe Cervi of the Pueblo Chieftain doesn't get why Manning would come to Denver (and he needs a better proofreader).

Broncos

Klis says both Brady Quinn and the Broncos thought the QB would be a better backup to Manning than Tim Tebow would be, but Quinn signed with KC because he just couldn't wait around for Peyton's decision. This Manning chase is getting out of hand now - costing the Broncos Brady Freaking Quinn!!!

Tebow has only a slight lead over Von Miller in the race for the next Madden cover.

Trimmings

New England inked wideouts Brandon Lloyd and Anthony Gonzalez, plus ex-Raiders DE Trevor Scott; Washington re-signed Rex Grossman.

Jim McMahon continues to speak up about his lawsuit against he NFL regarding its handling of head injuries, saying the league lied to players about their effects.

Mike Tanier thinks the beginning of free agency was marked by overspending and rash decisions, especially relating to wide receivers.

The PFF guys recap Friday and Saturday's signings; Khaled Elsayed is puzzled by the lack of movement on Brodrick Bunkley, while Nate Jahnke likes the Chiefs' acquisition of Peyton Hillis. Plus, Sam Monson offers his take on the first week of free agency.

In his Sunday column, Dan Pompei explains why the Bucs decided to open up the checkbook this year.

AFC and NFC Whispers via PFW.

Wes Bunting evaluates potential late-round RB prospects.

Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM

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