Found March 10, 2012 on
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TEMPE, Ariz. There were plenty of impressive quarterbacks on hand for the Kurt Warner Ultimate Football Experience on Saturday at the Cardinals practice complex. Some might even be termed free agents.
There was the host himself. There was Hall of Famer Steve Young, rising star Josh Freeman of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and even former Arizona State quarterback Brock Osweiler.
Unfortunately for the media throng assembled, there were no Peyton Manning sightings and no word on his exact whereabouts.
Cards receiver Larry Fitzgerald insisted he was out of the loop and that there were no clandestine workouts planned at Arizona State University, as Fitzgerald did last summer with Kevin Kolb.
"I'm not saying I don't have his phone number," Fitzgerald told a large media contingent. "But I haven't heard anything."
As one local scribe put it: "There's a lot of man power being wasted here today."
The Cardinals were predictably mum on Manning's whereabouts or whether he was even coming, despite reports he was headed this way this weekend. Was he still in Denver, imprisoned by John Elway until he signs on the dotted line? Was he back in Miami? Was he somewhere in Arizona, waiting for the watchful eyes of the press to give up? Was he kissing babies in a third-world nation?
With no answers this day, all that was left was speculation, so we turned to the guys on the field for their thoughts on Manning mania.
"With the exception of Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, every other team has to look into a Peyton Manning. You don't get guys like this loose much on the market," said the always loquacious Michael Irvin, a former star receiver with Dallas. "This is a coach who calls plays on the line of scrimmage. I can't tell you the advantage that is. And what he does, he's the only man in the world that does it."
There are several cities still in the hunt to land Manning, although that number may have dwindled by two when the Redskins acquired the Rams No. 2 pick, presumably to draft Baylor QB Robert Griffin III, while the Jets rewarded embattled QB Mark Sanchez with a three-year 40.5 million extension.
Unless a dark horse emerges, the three perceived leaders are the Dolphins, Broncos and the Cardinals, with Kansas City and Seattle also on the radar. Each has its own set of advantages being touted by the organization and even the local media.
The Dolphins and Broncos have lots to spend and solid offensive lines. The Cardinals have Larry Fitzgerald and that domed stadium.
"I think Miami still has the upper hand," Warner said. "Since Day One they've made it known, 'we want him to be our guy and we'll do whatever we have to, to get him.' If you're a guy in that situation, at that stage of your career that's what you want to hear.
"You want to go some place where they're saying, 'we're going to roll out the red carpet. Whatever you need, we're willing to make those moves. Bring your receiver with you, sign you to whatever kind of deal you want.'"
Young believes there's a factor which analysts are overlooking in Manning's decision.
"I think the most important thing he has to do is come down here and interview the receivers," said Young said, stressing, in Arizona's case, that Manning must measure the aptitude of the receivers beyond Larry Fitzgerald. "Are these a group of guys where I can get them up to speed and go dominate the NFL?"
Warner said he told Manning at the Super Bowl that he'd be willing to pass along any intelligence he'd gathered from his time playing for the Cards. But as of Saturday morning, Manning had not taken him up on that offer.
"I don't think there's any question coach (Ken) Whis(enhunt) is going to be flexible," Warner said. "But the bottom line is the pieces to the puzzle. What's Peyton looking for from that standpoint? He's going to make that decision where he feels the pieces are best in place for him and that team to succeeed."
BEST OF MAXIM
All of this talk about where will Peyton Manning play and will he come to Kansas City has me thinking…Kansas City really doesn’t want Manning. Let Denver and Arizona fight it out for Peyton, Kansas City Chiefs are much better off staying put and staying far away from all this Manning-hoopla. Doesn’t everyone remember how [...]
JUST FOR OLD TIME'S SAKE
Just hours after the Indianapolis Colts cut ties with the beloved Peyton Manning, this is a picture of the email (above) they decided to send out to devastated fans.
ColtsProShop.com, the official pro shop affiliated with the Indianapolis Colts website, could not wait to capitalize on Manning one last time by bombarding grieving fans with emails offering commemorative memorabilia...
According to Mike Klis of the Denver Post, the Houston Texans have recently inquired about free agent quarterback Peyton Manning.
It’s been rumored that if he Texans end up pursuing Manning, they’d be the hands down favorite to land him.
Right now the Broncos are the front-runners to land Manning, but if the Texans swoop in now, that could change very quickly.
Peyton Manning attends a press conference announcing Manning's release from the Colts at Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center on March 7, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Joey Foley/Getty Images)
The plane has landed.
Peyton Manning, John Elway and the Denver Broncos are at Dove Valley as we speak. The Broncos will try to keep the greatest free agent in NFL history in Denver,...
The race for Peyton Manning is well underway, and the most interesting team in the mix has to be the Denver Broncos. Denver was the first team to woo the recently released Colt, and now the sports world is abuzz with the possibility that Manning could sign in Denver, knocking out the oft-scrutinized/praised Tim Tebow from the starting job. Some believe the two...
The talks between Peyton Manning and the Washington Redskins have now officially begun after it was announced during an official press conference on Wednesday that the Indianapolis Colts and owner Jim Irsay have decided to part ways with the future Hall of Fame QB. In a tearful goodbye to the Colts fans, Manning said that
According to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, Peyton Manning will meet with Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak and Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin within the next three days.
Both meetings will take place away from each team’s facility.
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Jesse Holley admitted Friday that free agent Peyton Manning is a god at playing quarterback, and every team in the NFL should take at least a glance at him even the Cowboys.
But according to Holley, that's where it should end. The reserve receiver, who caught seven passes last season, says Dallas has a "very, very good quarterback" already...
It’s been a stressful few days for Dolfans fans patiently awaiting Peyton Manning to return to Florida to give the Dolphins brass a shot at giving there best pitch. There has been a series of reports that have left fans up and down and quite frankly starting to leave the fan base quite nervous.
Late this afternoon superstar reporter Jay Glazer broke the news that Peyton is leaving...
The dust is settling on last week's Washington Redskins adventure; it is clear that the 2012 Shanaplan was to find the quarterback first. Everything else would fall into place once that was done.
Thus, the Redskins treated fans to the courting of Peyton Manning and the bidding war for the St. Louis Rams' spot in the NFL Draft. The Redskins were determined to win one or the...
Mark Sanchez, You're Safe!
According to Jay Glazer, the Jets are officially out of the running for Peyton Manning’s services. Thank the heavens the Jets have apparently made the right move, sticking with Mark Sanchez, letting him grow and improve, while focusing on other areas of the team as well. Here are the Jay Glazer’s tweets about the Jets losing interest in Peyton...
Denver may not be big enough for Peyton Manning and Tim Tebow. The Broncos are among several teams in pursuit of Manning, four days into his free agency. But what would happen to Tebow, the incumbent QB in Denver, should Manning go there? According to ProFootballTalk.com, citing “a source with knowledge of the dynamics in Denver,” the Broncos would likely trade Tebow instead...
Tim Tebow will have performed his last Mile High Miracle if the Denver Broncos win the race to land Peyton Manning, Pro Football Network reported Sunday.
A source close to the team said Tebow stands to be traded upon the arrival of the four-time MVP.
The report claims the Jacksonville Jaguars are lining themselves up to acquire the unconventional quarterback, who led the Broncos...
Is it too late to quote Samuel L. Jackson from a movie that hasn’t come out yet? The Denver Broncos “desperately” want Peyton Manning, Peter King says. [ProFootballTalk]
They could even get Rockies first baseman Todd Helton into the mix, who started ahead of Manning at quarterback at Tennessee. [Denver Post]
Some Broncos fans respond with a desperate billboard of their own...