Probably not, but despite word from the Scheft earlier this morning that he could take up to a week, Peyton Manning could already be really close to choosing his next place of NFL employment.
Lead us down the meandering path of speculation, Mike Freeman:
One team official that contacted Manning’s agent, Tom Condon, says he got the definite impression that Manning indeed has already decided where he wants to go, or, at least, the handful of teams truly in the mix. The official, who did not want to be identified, believes that Miami, Washington and Denver are the front-runners.
Those teams aren’t remotely surprising, although the Broncos still feel like a bit of a reach. Denver is a poor fit offensively for a quarterback recovering from a unique and severe neck injury, because whether it was Kyle Orton early in the season or Tim Tebow later, the Broncos’ quarterback ended plays on his backside frequently despite the low volume of times he was asked to throw. Denver attempted a league low 429 passes, yet the offensive line still surrendered 42 sacks.
Very little about Manning Watch 2012 can be surprising at this point after he was linked to pretty much the entire NFL yesterday, and we’re still less than 24 hours into this adventure. Freeman’s source also shattered our fragile Earth with another fact: the team that signs Manning will be the team that offers the most guaranteed money.
Of the three teams listed by Freeman’s personal Deep Throat (mind, meet gutter), only Miami could struggle with the concept of guaranteed money, although that struggle will likely be a very mild fight, and some creative cap juggling and book cooking by GM Jeff Ireland can quickly create more space.
The Dolphins entered free agency with roughly $12 million in cap space, whereas the Redskins have $27 million, and the Broncos have $22 million.