If you’re holding your breath while waiting for Peyton Manning to find his next place of NFL employment, please stop. You’re going to die.
I’ll confess that prior to his press conference and his final official moments as a Colt, I didn’t think Manning’s free agency would last long. Teams are clearly very aware of his severe neck injury and ongoing rehab, but at the time it felt like there was easily enough hopeless desperation that Manning wouldn’t last past the 48-hour mark.
Then he made those comments between tears at the press conference about not being familiar with the free agency process, and the timeline instantly became obvious. This is a veteran who’s in a unique position, and it’s the only time in his professional life that he’ll have the privilege of being courted. Time is his friend.
This is why Chris Mortensen’s report earlier today shouldn’t be greeted with surprise. Mort said that it’s highly unlikely Manning picks his team before the start of league-wide free agency tomorrow at 4 p.m. ET, and it’s even possible that he doesn’t make a decision this week. That delay could either knock the Cardinals out, or lead to Kevin Kolb being cut prematurely. Kolb is due a $7 million bonus this Saturday, a tidy sum that would be wasted on a quarterback who might not be on Arizona’s roster much longer if Manning is acquired.
Manning met with the Cardinals for just over six hours yesterday, which is roughly the same amount of time he spent with the Broncos Friday. Then the speculation jumped a few gears, with Vic Lombardi reporting that all but five percent of Manning’s mind is made up, and he’s leaning in favor of Denver. That was refuted by Mort, who said there’s no truth whatsoever to Lombardi’s haphazard percentages.
It must be true that 95 percent of people believe in vague statistics. It’s also true that no one in Miami knows what the hell is going on, and if the Dolphins are out, in, or just in “lockdown mode,” the hip term Armando Salguero used while reporting from his sources that Miami is indeed still lurking, though likely trailing far behind.
Dave Hyde decided that implied confusion wasn’t good enough. He went for full on migraine:
And that’s your Peyton Manning update for this hour. Tune in next hour when he becomes San Diego’s new head coach.