Blog Entry

Up to 12 teams contacted Peyton Manning Wednesday

Posted on: March 8, 2012 10:19 am
Edited on: March 8, 2012 3:29 pm
So ... many ... choices ... (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

On Wednesday, the Colts released Peyton Manning, a sentence that still seems weird to write.

Also on Wednesday, the Manning-to-Team-X rumor mill got chugging along nicely. It's believed that as many as a dozen NFL teams (12!) have been in contact with Manning's camp, or Manning's agent Tom Condon. However,'s NFL Insider Mike Freeman reported Thursday morning that some folks believe Manning's already narrowed his list. Freeman points to the Dolphins, Redskins and ... Broncos as the short list.

Peyton's Free Agency

But for the sake of really figuring out who's in play, let's break down the teams that could've/should've/might've contacted Manning on Wednesday. Follow the parenthesis for the full count.

49ers (X) general manager Trent Baalke told everyone that the 49ers are not interested in Manning. That doesn't technically preclude any contact on their part, but it does point to a low interest level.

Despite the presence of Tebowmania, the Broncos (1) are absolutely interested in Manning. See: Freeman's report, as well as a report from Mike Klis of The Denver Post Wednesday, in which Klis says the Broncos will check in with Manning but believes they will likely stick with Tebow. That's probably more as a result of striking out on Manning, but as Freeman notes, maybe they're in play after all.  

The Dolphins (2) are quite obviously interested. Our buddy Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post believes the Dolphins are in the pole position to land Manning. And there's good reason to think Volin is right, the least of which is that he's in South Beach right now. (Well, we assume he's still there.) Adding to the pressure of Miami, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat Twitter account are all recruiting/harassing Peyton.

Speaking of the AFC East, the Jets (3) are another divisional team purportedly in hot pursuit of Manning. Or purportedly "split" about whether or not they want to chase Manning. They do. They know it. The problem? They just don't think they can actually get him, so they're trying to play it cool.

The most obvious suitor? The Washington Redskins (4), who essentially feel like they're already drunk-dialing Condon to talk about Manning. What? That counts as an "aggressive" pursuit of a free agent.

Or maybe the Seahawks (5) are the most aggressive team ... only they're going about it quietly. Albert Breer of the NFL Network reported they'd be the first team on the phone with Peyton Wednesday, and Peter King and Jim Trotter of Sports Illustrated both believe John Schneider and Pete Carroll would be in hot pursuit of Manning. It's interesting, as Doug Farrar of Shutdown Corner notes, because Schneider said at the combine that he wasn't interested in "passing camp" quarterbacks.

Thursday, Adam Schefter of ESPN named a couple additional teams as well. Most notably, he cited the Chiefs (6) as a suitor for Manning. They make a lot of sense. Schefter also listed the Titans (7) as a team that contacted Manning, but that goes contrary to what they said they'd do. Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean also reports that the Titans have not (6) had contact with Manning.

That's six teams, which is a lot. And yes, I'm ignoring the Titans. I'm also ignoring the Texans, who were already ruled out by King. So who are the other six teams?

The Cardinals (7) are a team that we haven't mentioned yet, but they're still my favorite to land Manning. They have a limited window to land Manning because of the Kevin Kolb roster bonus due on March 17, and they can't be too public about their pursuit of Manning (well, Darnell Dockett can). But maybe they don't have to be public about anything: Manning has reportedly put out his own "feelers" to talk with the Cards. It probably has nothing to do with Larry Fitzgerald.

Then there's a slew of cruddy teams that we should add off the bat: the Browns (8), the Bills (9) and the Jaguars (10) are all teams with quarterbacks. But they're also teams with quarterbacks who are not Peyton Manning. And if the respective GMs of those clubs didn't at least call and say "Hey, would he be interested in playing in our city for our team?" then they should be jailed for negligence.

So we need a pair of sleepers now. Let's rule out the rest of the AFC; for one reason or another, everyone has a quarterback. Let's also rule out the NFC East. We've already included the NFC West, sans the Rams. Only one team from the NFC South and the NFC North needs a quarterback.

So only two teams remain: the Vikings (11) and the Buccaneers (12). OK, Christian Ponder and Josh Freeman are both recent first-round picks, but this is Peyton Manning we're talking about. They'd be nuts not to at least inquire through backchannels if there was any possible interest.

If you think I missed someone, leave em in the comments. Or argue why your team deserves Manning.

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Since: May 6, 2008
Posted on: March 8, 2012 6:52 pm

Up to 12 teams contacted Peyton Manning Wednesday

Of course Denver is in the mix, they have a the WORST QB in the entire NFL.  Why would anybody be suprised?   Option offense can't win in the NFL, this was proven this yr so Elway and the Broncs have to get a QB that can throw, not blow.

Since: Sep 1, 2007
Posted on: March 8, 2012 6:51 pm

Up to 12 teams contacted Peyton Manning Wednesday

You really think Detroit should pursue manning? get real. I respect the hell out of Peyton but hes 36 and stafford is 23. Manning has never thrown for 5000 yds in his career and to say its because of Calvin is to completely dismiss the group of harrison/wayne/clark that any qb would have loved

Since: Dec 22, 2011
Posted on: March 8, 2012 6:25 pm

Up to 12 teams contacted Peyton Manning Wednesday

Everyone in the AFC Has their QB?  REALLY?  Pioli would give his left nut for Payton Manning just about and make Cassel a decent back up where he belongs again in heart beat...don't fool yourself otherwise...Think the Jets wouldn't dump sanchez for Manning, Think Ravens wouldn't give Flacco his walking papers, the Texans might even part ways with Schaub...and Bengals if they had to choose between manning and Dalton do you think Dalton measures up really?  And the list goes on Raiders, Broncos, SD should but won't they will stick with Rivers, but seriously right now Manning is the prom Queen, Cheerleader Captain that just dumped the HS QB and is looking for a Date for the Dance...and now all the nerds, preps, and other jocks and probably some of the other cheerleaders are all lining up for a crack...even the ones with a bf or gf because their bf or gf aint as proverbially pretty as a Healthy short list don't be so sure lol. 

Since: Oct 26, 2010
Posted on: March 8, 2012 5:31 pm

Up to 12 teams contacted Peyton Manning Wednesday

how could the niners not be intrested? Granted, smith had his best year, granted k.williams gave away the playoffs .If you watched the giants niners game . smith had trouble converting and find anyone elese besides davis on anyplays during that second half.peton is a definte good investment for the niners.

Since: Apr 9, 2008
Posted on: March 8, 2012 5:28 pm

Up to 12 teams contacted Peyton Manning Wednesday

These teams KNOW they have Superbowl caliber quaterbacks:


all other teams should be actively pursuing Peyton Manning in my opinion.

Since: Aug 31, 2010
Posted on: March 8, 2012 5:21 pm

Up to 12 teams contacted Peyton Manning Wednesday

Bearish, I couldn't agree more, I have been thinking that before he was even released, If they have the right cap space they could acquire Manngin and even one of the top free agent WRs in Marques Colston  

Since: Jun 25, 2010
Posted on: March 8, 2012 5:15 pm

Up to 12 teams contacted Peyton Manning Wednesday

I have no idea what there cap space situation would be, but if they want to become the immediate favorite to win the next Super Bowl the San Francisco 49ers should go after Manning hard. With their defense and a strong running game with Frank Gore and a terrific receiver in Vernon Davis and the potential of Michael Crabtree, this team is an upgrade at QB away from a championship run. I'm not a 49ers fan, but this is where Manning would fit best if his ambition is to immediately compete for a Super Bowl ring. 

Since: Aug 31, 2010
Posted on: March 8, 2012 5:03 pm

Up to 12 teams contacted Peyton Manning Wednesday

I only have one more thing to say about Manning, I was never a fan of Indy, and I Absolutely hate the Giants but I would as well as many other enjoy seeing a future Manning Bowl.

Since: Aug 31, 2010
Posted on: March 8, 2012 5:00 pm

Up to 12 teams contacted Peyton Manning Wednesday

I was being sarcastic about the whole Favre-Manning thing, yes I know the way i said it seems as if i am ramsacking the guy, but I wasn't, Ihave nothing but great respect and admiration for Manning, his career speaks for itself, he was an instant HOF in my book long before he even made his first super bowl, and now that he has a ring, it pretty much solidifies his place in the Hall..

Since: Jun 17, 2007
Posted on: March 8, 2012 4:34 pm

Up to 12 teams contacted Peyton Manning Wednesday

I'm not sure why anyone would compare this to Favre and think that Manning wants to stick it to the Colts.

Manning and the Colts parted amicably. The reason Irsay didn't pay 28 million is as much because he knows that it will be three or four years before the Colts will be competitive again. Why pay Manning $28 million to stay on your team that won't win Championships, when you can let Andrew Luck experience his growing pains while the rest of the team grows too?

Plus, you give your fan-loved legend a chance to win a couple more Super Bowls, and he comes back to retire a Colt after building on his already HOF resume.

Manning has no hate for the Colts or Irsay, and he is not out to stick it to the Colts. In fact, I'd be SURPRISED if he goes to the AFC South for that reason along with, well, the Dolphins, Cards, and Jets not being in the AFC South.

Plus, Manning is not 41, he's 35.  He's still got four or five good years left.  Read the reports, put 2 + 2 together, you'll get 4.  Everyone that knows Manning personally (Archie, Saturday, Wayne), says he's doing really well, including Peyton, who knows himself best.  Add to that the fact that you don't just call you professional football buddies to play catch, unless you are throwing balls that require professional players to catch them.

Seriously...this is NOTHING like Brett Favre.  Also, one more way it's not:  Manning has made it clear he's NOT retiring.  Manning is not in-decisive, or trying to get as much attention as he possibly can, he's just wants to do the job he loves, play quarterback in the NFL.

Peyton > Favre - and if Manning has four healthy years left, all the QB career #s will say so, too! 

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or