Peyton Watch: Manning's secret suitor - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Peyton Watch: Manning's secret suitor


(WRCB/NBC/AP) – While the rest of the sporting world has been watching the Titans and the Broncos battle it out over Peyton Manning, one team seems to have slipped under the radar.

NBC San Francisco is now reporting that the most eligible player in the NFL free agency has worked out with and taken physical for the 49ers on Tuesday night.

Earlier Friday, the Dolphins ended their bid for Manning after a phone call with the star quarterback.

Manning is working out for the Broncos top brass, led by VP of football operations John Elway, at the Duke training facility in Durham, North Carolina.

The Titans remain in the mix, after an impressive showing on Wednesday. However it's looking more and more likely that the Cardinals will bow out of the Manning Mania. ESPN reported that the Cardinals will give quarterback his $7 million roster bonus (4PM ET was their deadline for that decision.)


(WRCB/NBC/AP) – The Broncos aren't ready to let go of Peyton Manning, but the Dolphins have been told to move along.

NBC Denver reports the Broncos' have traveled to Raleigh. NBC Sports reports Manning is working out for team officials at nearby Duke University in Durham, where he's been conducting workouts under long-time mentor and current Blue Devils' head coach David Cutcliffe.

ESPN is reporting executive VP of football operations John Elway leads the Broncos' traveling contingent, which also includes head coach John Fox, offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, quarterback coach Adam Gase and general manager Brian Xanders. Denver is also bringing a medical team to evaluate Manning.

The Denver Post, citing a source in the NFL, says the Broncs have offered Manning a 5 year, $60 million contract with a $30 million guarantee.

The NFL Network reports the Titans also have plans to watch Manning work out in the near future, but that meeting has not yet been scheduled.

The news comes on the same day NFL Network reported the race to sign the four-time NFL MVP is now down to just three teams.'s Jeff Darlington reported Friday morning that Manning personally called Dolphins officials on Thursday to inform them he will not be signing with Miami. Manning, who has a house in South Florida, had very brief discussions with the Dolphins earlier this week, but never went through a day-long visit like he experienced with the Broncos, Titans and Cardinals.

The Manning sweepstakes could become a two-team race by the end of the day Friday. Arizona is facing a 4 p.m. ET deadline for a decision on its current quarterback Kevin Kolb, who is due a $7 million roster bonus if he is not released before Saturday.

The Titans put up an impressive recruitment pitch earlier this week, with even Governor Bill Haslam calling the four-time NFL MVP during his visit to Nashville.

The governor of Colorado seemed less likely to get involved in the recruitment.

"I'm the governor; I'm not supposed to be getting involved in sports issues. Although I did hear that my buddy (Tennessee Gov.) Bill Haslam was calling Manning, trying to call Manning, to encourage him to come to Tennessee," Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said in a telephone interview.

Asked whether he would make a similar attempt, Hickenlooper replied: "Oh, sure. If I could get his number."

"He'd make a great mentor for a couple of years with Tim Tebow," Hickenlooper told The Associated Press. "I'm a big fan of Tim Tebow, and I'm not as skeptical as a lot of people are that he can't overcome the mechanics of his throwing."

Titans' owner Bud Adams was optimistic after wrapping up the team's 7-hour meeting with Manning on Wednesday in Nashville. He said he didn't know an exact timeline for when the former Vol will make his decision, but expected it to come "fairly soon."

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