Peyton Manning will work out for the Denver Broncos and Tennessee Titans as the chase for the National Football League’s most-coveted free agent narrows, NFL Network reported.
A group of Broncos executives, including coach John Fox and Vice President of Football Operations John Elway, flew to Durham, North Carolina, today to watch Manning throw, the network reported citing an unidentified person close to the team. The four-time NFL Most Valuable Player also will work out for the Titans at an undecided future date, according to the NFL Network.
The Broncos, Titans and Arizona Cardinals are the three teams still in the running for the 35-year-old Manning, who was cut by the Indianapolis Colts on March 7 after missing the 2011 season following neck-fusion surgery. Manning said at the time that he still had work left in his attempt to return to Pro Bowl form.
“If I’m the Denver Broncos and I’m going to put a significant financial investment into Peyton Manning, what I want to see is pretty much what I usually see at the college workouts for the top-level college players,” Mike Mayock, a former player and now an NFL Network analyst, said on its website. “If I get Peyton Manning, and it’s a healthy Peyton Manning, I’m thinking Super Bowl.”
Manning’s 54,828 yards passing, 4,682 completions and 399 touchdowns are third on the NFL career list, trailing leader Brett Favre and Dan Marino in each category. He led the Colts to a Super Bowl title in February 2007 and was named league MVP a record four times, in 2003, 2004, 2008 and 2009.
Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb is due a $7 million bonus should he remain on the roster after 4 p.m. Eastern time today, forcing his team into a decision that may signal its intentions or expectations regarding Manning. Kolb, 27, signed a six-year, $65 million contract with Arizona last year after being dealt from the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Miami Dolphins, once considered in the running for Manning, no longer see him as an option and have turned their attention to former Green Bay Packers backup Matt Flynn, the Miami Herald reported today citing an unidentified person close to the team. According to NFL.com, Manning phoned the Dolphins yesterday to tell them he wasn’t considering Miami.
Joe Philbin, hired as the Dolphins’ coach in January, spent the last four seasons as Flynn’s offensive coordinator. A career backup, Flynn has made two NFL starts, including the Packers’ final-week victory over the Detroit Lions last year, when he was 31-for-44 for 480 yards with six touchdown passes and one interception.