Blog Entry

Has Manning already narrowed his choices?

Posted on: March 8, 2012 9:16 am
Edited on: March 8, 2012 2:45 pm
Peyton Manning insists he's made no decision on his possible NFL destination. Sure, Peyton. Sure.

No one in the league believes that. They think Manning has a short list but doesn't want to publicly admit it so he can maximize the inevitable bidding war.

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. One report states Manning has already informed the Redskins he doesn't want to play for them.

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.

It's still early in the process but one thing is clear: the Manning derby is fully under way and, despite his public protestations, Manning likely already has a good idea of where he wants to go.

Category: NFL

Since: Dec 19, 2010
Posted on: March 8, 2012 10:30 am

Has Manning already narrowed his choices?

The Cervical Spine is in everyone's neck.



Knowledge is power. 

Since: Feb 26, 2010
Posted on: March 8, 2012 10:30 am

Has Manning already narrowed his choices?

Manning to Denver.  Can't you see it....   Mid season.   The crowd calling for Tebow   Tebow   Tebow !!!!

Since: Feb 6, 2012
Posted on: March 8, 2012 10:30 am

Has Manning already narrowed his choices?

As  fought back tears at his farewell news conference in Indianapolis, at least one high-ranking NFL executive had to fight off his owner.

“We were sitting there watching and [the owner] called as soon as they wrapped up and Peyton was walking off the stage with [ owner Jim] Irsay,” said a junior executive with one of the many teams rumored to be interested in Manning. “[Our general manager] kept assuring him, ‘We’re going to get a meeting with Manning and we’re going to do all our homework."

Welcome to the upcoming firestorm of Manning’s foray into free agency.

“Just think about the trap you’re in. If you sign the guy and he’s bad, it’s probably going to cost you your job,” an AFC general manager said. “Or, if you don’t sign him and he’s great, it’s probably going to cost you your job. This situation is a potential nightmare.”

This is reminiscent of the 2006 offseason, when the  had to decide between signing  as a free agent or trading for. The Dolphins passed on Brees, who was recovering from a serious shoulder injury. The move gave New Orleans an unfettered path to a Super Bowl win. As for the Dolphins, they just hired their fourth coach since that fateful decision.

Given that four or five teams can’t sign Manning, that’s four or five executives who will watch him play with great anxiety for the next season or two. Assuming Manning is healthy.

From a football perspective, that’s a huge assumption. From a short-term marketing side, it may not matter much.

As Manning choked back tears Wednesday in a surprising display of emotion after Irsay announced the team wouldn’t keep him, he talked about the uncertainty of what was next for his career.

“This is the only team I’ve ever known, and I’ve always known what the month of March is for an offseason getting ready to go play for the Colts the next season,” Manning said. “This is kind of uncharted territory for me, so we’ll see how all that plays out.”

It could be uncharted for some teams, too. As Manning acknowledged, he still has “some work to do and some progress to make” with his arm. After one national reporter said that  of Manning throwing at Duke University “answered all the questions” about the quarterback’s arm, two football executives scoffed.

One of them, an NFC executive, said, “[The video] was nice to see, but you have to be kidding me if you think I’m taking that as my evidence that he’s healthy and ready to go or even is going to get healthy. Please.”

The problem is that the decision on whether to sign Manning may get plucked out of the hands of football people by the ultimate authorities, the guys who write the checks.

Whether it’s Woody Johnson with the , Dan Snyder with the or Stephen Ross of the Miami Dolphins, there will be owners who see Manning as a potential bonanza. This is a future Hall of Fame quarterback with perhaps two or three good years left. Manning could vault any of the aforementioned organizations into title contender status. At the worst, he’s going to sell a ton of season tickets in the next few months, even if he never plays.

At the NFL scouting combine last month, a Jets assistant coach admitted that New York will take a long look at Manning. Later, one AFC coach laughed at a friend of his from Washington when the friend was bemoaning Snyder’s supposed hot interest in signing Manning. As for the Dolphins, the team has yet to express remote interest in free-agent quarterback  so far, even though Flynn just finished playing for new Miami head coach Joe Philbin. A team source said that’s because Ross has told general manager Jeff Ireland to put the full-court press on Manning.

Of course, there are plenty of other teams that will be interested in Manning. Seattle, Houston, Arizona and Kansas City have all been linked to him in some regard. On top of that, there are all sorts of theories about where he’ll sign, such as he might not want to play for the Jets because he doesn’t want to compete in the same city with his brother Eli. Or that he won’t play for Washington because he doesn’t want to be in the same division with Eli.

The GMs from those two teams would probably prefer to get that answer. In that case, the decision will be taken out of their hands.

Since: Feb 28, 2008
Posted on: March 8, 2012 10:29 am

Has Manning already narrowed his choices?

Master again - I never said it was due to this article sunshine, just in general. Like you and everybody else on here i'll give my opinion, if you don't agree that's fine by me.

Since: Jan 6, 2012
Posted on: March 8, 2012 10:27 am

Has Manning already narrowed his choices?

Holy Wow! What brilliant insight! I'd never thought of any of those things or EVEN considered that Manning or his agent had already discissed his options. Brilliant writing! All I can say is that Freeman should be thrown in jail because he's stealing $$ from CBS posing as a writer. What a fraud. They give him $$ for that? He probabbly wrote that while sitting on his toilet.

Since: Feb 23, 2009
Posted on: March 8, 2012 10:25 am

Has Manning already narrowed his choices?

sorry freeman, the skins are out. peyton has forgotten more about football than shanahan has ever known. also its about the competition not the highest bidder

Since: Mar 29, 2009
Posted on: March 8, 2012 10:24 am

Has Manning already narrowed his choices?

Mr. Anderson,

Only in the MATRIX does Shanahan still coach the Denver Broncos...

Since: Oct 30, 2008
Posted on: March 8, 2012 10:24 am

Has Manning already narrowed his choices?

I always say i'll never read a Freeman aticle again then I do and feel all the more stupid afterwards. Terrible article, terrible read.

What?!  Freeman LIVES in Kansas City!  He's a damn Chiefs fan!  Sorry, but just because he doesn't write that your Chiefs are a frontrunner doesn't mean it's a terrible read.  That's just dumb.

Since: Dec 22, 2011
Posted on: March 8, 2012 10:24 am

Has Manning already narrowed his choices?

Until we hear anything from Manning, Its all BS!

Since: Aug 10, 2011
Posted on: March 8, 2012 10:22 am

Has Manning already narrowed his choices?

I'd love to have Peyton Manning in Denver!  It would stop any quarterback controversy with that guy named Tebow.  We'd own the AFC West if he came to Denver, he'd take us to the playoffs every season in that division. 

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