Links: Where’s Peyton today?

They say the first rule of free agency is to never let a targeted player leave town without signing a contract. The belief is that if he catches a flight without putting pen to paper, he’s as good as gone.

Of course, there are exceptions to that rule, and the Peyton Manning tour of 2012 is unique enough that it’s hard to read into the fact that Manning is likely to leave the Bronco’s facility today without signing a deal to become the franchise’s next quarterback.

In fact, it seems the Broncos remain optimistic about their chance of landing No. 18 after the two sides met for six hours last night and then again today.

The question now is, where to next? The original word was that he’d be stopping in Arizona, but Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says he’d be “stunned” if Manning were brought to Glendale today. He is expected to head to Arizona at some point, but we don’t know anything more than that. Today? Tomorrow? Team facility? Elsewhere?

Right now, we’re all in the dark.

And the rest on Manning…

  • A source told ESPN.com that “there is absolutely no preferred choice at this time. This is typical, (Manning) doing his own research because it’s a first-time and only-time process from a free-agent vantage point. Physically seeing facilities and the geography of cities that he is not acquainted with is part of his own research.”
  • We found out last night that Manning is “making encouraging progress with his arm strength.” More from Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports:

“So far, so good,” said a source with one of the many teams that is interested in signing Manning. “The question is still where is it going to stop, but the progress over the past month has been steady and that’s what you’re looking for.”

  • The Dolphins would like Manning to throw before they attempt to sign him … unless, um, he really doesn’t want to. [Miami Herald]
  • Oh, and instead of ripping down Manning’s banner at Lucas Oil Stadium, the Colts have simply added to it. Nice touch…