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.
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.
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.
Shanny’s Redskins leader in Peyton Manning sweepstakes
I have talked to people close to the Peyton Manning situation and the expectation as of today is the bidding war will come down to Mike Shanahan’s Washington Redskins and the Miami Dolphins.
The New York Jets and Seattle Seahawks will also make a run, as well up to three or four others.
The Broncos will not be in the bidding, although where Manning lands will create a domino affect that could affect which free-agent quarterback Denver does sign to back up Tim Tebow.
Klis has spoken: no Manning for you!
Colts plan to announce Peyton Manning’s departure Wednesday
The Colts will officially do what has been widely expected for months and formally announce that they’re releasing Manning on Wednesday, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reports. Manning and Colts owner Jim Irsay are expected to attend a joint announcement.
Tebow haters, start your Manning-to-Broncos rumors at midnight tonight.
Or, if you hate Tebow that much, begin...now.
Free agent QBs for Broncos, Chiefs
Chad Henne: There has been talk Denver will be interested and he could push Tim Tebow. Kansas City could also be interested. He played for new Kansas City offensive coordinator Brian Daboll last season.
Shaun Hill: I could see him being on Denver’s list as a backup.
Josh Johnson: Denver could look at him as a backup to Tebow.
Vince Young: Giving Tebow a similar backup would be compelling and you never know, maybe the light would finally come on for Young in Denver.
How many weasel words (otherwise known as modal auxiliary verbs) can one guy cram into a 338-word blog entry?
I lost count after the 10th "could" and the third "may."
Will Aaron Rodgers decide Tebowmania is too much to bear and try and force his way out of Green Bay so he can come and compete with Tebow? He could, you know. Of course, anything could happen.
As bounty fallout continues, Goodell to make example of Saints
[Williams is] in the biggest trouble and will likely get a significant suspension, at least half the season. Coach Sean Payton and GM Mickey Loomis will be banned for a time too, for not exercising the kind of institutional control they should have.
Vilma is going down, and I suspect other player leaders could be banned for games too. Not that they’re all still Saints, but I have to wonder how the league will manage the suspension if, say, six Saints are banned for a game or more. Will Goodell stagger them? Or will the Saints be missing half their defense for Week 1?
Also worth noting is that Brett Favre was surprised by the severity and timing of the hits the Saints delivered in defeating Favre's Vikings in the 2009 NFC title game, and King expects New Orleans OC Pete Carmichael would likely stand in for Payton if the coach is suspended.
Plus, the Texans have re-signed Arian Foster to a five-year deal.