Peyton Manning Rumors: Speculation Nears End With Broncos, Titans, 49ers As Favorites…Or Is It?

‘I have seen some dumb ‘basterds’ in my life but by far you are the dumbest!!! EVERYBODY has Miami as ONE of the TOP TWO TEAMS in the Manning Sweepstakes’.

‘By the way, DUMB-ASS, SF (Niners) has already said they are STICKING with (Alex) Smith AND his former coach and running back have stated he has NO INTENTION of playing in the NFC!!! NOR does he want to play in COLD weather!!!’

‘Where the hell did you get your ‘journalistic credentials’?? Night school GED??’

That was the feedback I got from one person after my piece ten days ago on where Peyton Manning might land as a free agent.

Guilty as charged. From now on I should just copy and paste everything from the ESPN bottom line scroll, or the smoke-screens that regularly spews from various NFL camps.

peyton-manning-free-agency-rumors-49ers-titans-broncos

The 49ers have entered the Peyton Manning picture. Where will he end up? (Photo courtesy: ESPN.com)

Latest Peyton Manning Rumors Include “Unexpected” Late Entrant

If you follow the free agent speculation in any sport, you know that what the players and organizations say may be one thing – but what actually goes behind the scenes can be quite another.

The process is very much like poker. The best organizations do not show their hands to anyone, and it’s often the team that appears to show very little interest that winds up with the prize. See Prince Fielder/Tigers from baseball…which expert had Detroit as his landing spot until he suddenly signed on the dotted line?

And to further critique the personal insults that get hurled my way: can you can at least spell bastard right? Most third-graders get that one. Feel free to use your spell-check before firing off your rants. Maybe I should have gone for being a grammar teacher while chasing my GED during my incarceration after dropping out of school…

That said, I didn’t get it all right while penning my original Peyton Manning speculation article. My top five destinations were:

  1. Cardinals
  2. Broncos
  3. Niners
  4. Texans
  5. Jets

Let’s review…

CARDINALS

I liked the possibilities of Peyton in Arizona – and the Cardinals were one of the teams Manning visited. At this point the Cardinals now appear to be a long-shot, but it is easy to defend originally making them the early favorite. Manning + Fitzgerald to me could still be very much like how Manning/Marvin Harrison was for a decade.

BRONCOS

Then there was my selection of the Broncos at #2, which was “completely moronic.” All I have to do is pick up a paper and I would know the John Elway has emphatically stated 98 times that Tim Tebow is his quarterback for now and the foreseeable future. Not only that, it can get extremely frigid at 5,200 feet and it tends to snow (sometimes a lot) in Denver.

Right?

Not like those conditions ever bothered John Elway. And did I mention the Broncos are now indeed ONE of the CO-FAVORITES in the Manning Derby? Obviously I had no clue on what I was penning last week and did zero research.

NINERS

The Niners were pegged as my #3, who initially showed no ‘official interest’ in Manning, until it was disclosed Friday that Peyton indeed worked in front of San Francisco brass. So there’s your Scott Boras special ‘mystery team’, and one that makes sense since the 49ers could use an upgrade at quarterback after going to overtime of the NFC Championship game. Ultimately showing interest makes total sense.

But then again, the weather conditions at cold, damp, windswept Candlestick are absolutely horrible!!! I’m still trying to figure out how a couple guys named Montana and Young were able to cope, because history says somehow they did. Meanwhile I now give SF a decent (25-30 percent) chance of ultimately landing Manning.

TEXANS/JETS

I did have the Texans at #4, another team coming off a strong year where an elite QB may be the final missing link. However there remains no public interest from Houston headquarters.

Then I had the Jets at #5. I confess. Rex Ryan = Manning never did sound like a match made in heaven. So Rex will spend at least one more year in New York with Mark Sanchez, although he ought to spend one of his party weekends in Madison, where at least he can overthrow Scott Walker.

DOLPHINS

Now for Miami. It played out exactly as I said it would. That was Manning’s first stop, and the Dolphins took a look under the hood. Like I said ten days ago, Matt Flynn is a much better match and already knows new HC Joe Philbin, and he will cost much less than the $90 million price-tag Manning is commanding.

TITANS

The three long-shots I had were the Eagles, Raiders, and Titans. It appears that Philly will not dare rock the Michael Vick boat, while Raiders/Manning also does not sound like a compatible marriage, plus the Raiders have salary cap issues.

Tennessee I had always given a shot, and they are indeed swinging for the fences on Peyton. The premise of my original article suggested we all expect the unexpected and to look for a team not in the lead to suddenly make a run for the brass ring. A generation ago someone named Reggie White was on an extensive free agent tour. My boss at work asked me one day how I’d think he would look in a Packers uniform. I asked him what he was smoking…but everyone knows where Reggie wound up landing.

Where Will Peyton Finally Land?

As of today, March 17th, I have the Broncos and Titans as the co-favorites, with the Niners not far behind. I would not consider any of the three as a surprise. And don’t rule yet another team (Texans) making a surprise 11th hour bid.

Or Manning could play the field for several more weeks (training camp is still four months away) while Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, or someone else from that ilk suffers a freak off-season injury or suddenly makes a retirement announcement. It wouldn’t be the most unexpected event in NFL history.

But then again, I’m just a dum-dum blindly throwing darts at the wall. Feel free to tell me so in the comment section below…



About Kurt Allen

Have written/blogged about sports since 2000, along with starting my popular Twitter feed in 2009. I also closely follow fantasy sports developments, along with events such as the NFL Draft.

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