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PAINTERDAVE
03-16-2012, 04:08 PM
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The stealthy 49ers are in the chase for Peyton Manning. The Dolphins and Cardinals are out. And the Broncos and Titans want to make sure the four-time NFL MVP is healthy.

Got all that?

After a brief lull, the pursuit of Manning sure got interesting in a hurry Friday.

The year's top free agent, who has been rehabbing in North Carolina after a string of neck surgeries, threw the football at Duke's athletic facilities for Hall of Fame QB turned Broncos executive John Elway along with Denver coach John Fox.

The workout lasted a little under two hours, and when it was over Elway seemed convinced that Manning is still Manning.

"We enjoyed visiting with Peyton today in N.C.,'' he wrote on his Twitter account. "He threw the ball great and looked very comfortable out there.''

A few minutes later, Elway posted: "Watching him throw today was the next step in this important process for our team and Peyton. It was a productive visit and went well.''

Whether San Francisco executives and coaches feel the same way, they weren't saying. But they also have shown interest in the man who led Indianapolis to a Super Bowl victory in 2007. A person familiar with the situation said that Manning worked out for 49ers' coach Jim Harbaugh on Tuesday night at Duke. ESPN first reported on the session.

Blue Devils coach David Cutcliffe was Manning's offensive coordinater at the Unversity of Tennessee and the two remain friends.

As it became clear the 49ers were in the race, Miami and Arizona dropped out.

Another person confirmed to the AP that Manning phoned the Miami Dolphins on Thursday to advise them he'll sign elsewhere. The team has now turned its attention to free agent quarterback Matt Flynn.

The people who spoke to the AP did so on condition of anonymity because Manning's workouts have remained private and all the teams involved have refused to comment on their free agency negotiations.

The Cardinals decided to pay quarterback Kevin Kolb the $7 million roster bonus he was due on Saturday, effectively ending their pursuit of Manning. Arizona hosted Manning for about 6 1/2 hours at the team's facility on Sunday, but the team's chances faded as the week progressed

After he missed the entire 2011 season, Manning's uncertain health led the Colts to balk at the $28 million roster bonus they would have owed their 35-year-old leader on March 8. So they released him, ending his long and incredibly successful run with Indy.

Now the question is which club will land a quarterback who could make a team an instant Super Bowl contender.

Will it be San Francisco, which seemed to be out of the picture?

The 49ers had been working to re-sign quarterback Alex Smith, the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2005 who made a comeback in 2011 under first-year coach and former NFL QB Harbaugh, and Smith has acknowledged he was happy with the three-year offer.

Smith and Manning both are represented by Tom Condon and CAA Sports.

"Alex is trying to figure out what he wants to do,'' 49ers CEO Jed York said earlier this week. "There have been good conversations back and forth.''

The NFC West champion 49ers on Monday signed wide receiver Randy Moss after he spent a year out of football, hoping he will be the dynamic wideout and deep threat he once was.

An email to Smith, multiple phone messages to his agency and to his father were not returned.

The 27-year-old Smith threw for 3,150 yards and 17 touchdowns with only five interceptions as San Francisco went 13-3 and made the NFC title game last season after an eight-year playoff drought.

Neither running back Frank Gore nor tight end Vernon Davis had been told by the 49ers they were pursuing Manning. Both are big fans of Smith. Asked if Smith is still the man for San Francisco, Gore said, "I think he is.''

Manning's whirlwind free agency tour officially kicked off soon after he bid farewell to the Colts in an emotional press conference.

The Broncos had the first crack at wooing him, rolling out the red carpet for his visit. Team officials flew him in and he spent the spent the day chatting with Elway and other Broncos brass. He was escorted around the team's building by Fox and general manager Brian Xanders as he listened to their sales pitch.

After that, Manning journeyed to nearby Castle Rock, Colo., and spent the evening with good friend Brandon Stokley, who played catch with Manning the next morning and spoke highly of his former teammate in an interview on a local radio show.

Manning's next stop was Arizona and then, this week, it was Tennessee.

The QB has a big fan in 89-year-old Titans owner Bud Adams, and Manning, who spent his college days leading the Volunteers, talked for nearly eight hours with team executives on a plane and at the club's headquarters.

The NFL Network reported that Manning was expected to work out for the Titans, but there was no immediate confirmation from the team or word on when that would happen.

---

AP Sports Writers Steve Wine in Miami and Pat Graham in Denver and Janie McCauley in San Francisco contributed to this report.

PAINTERDAVE
03-16-2012, 04:09 PM
"A person familiar with the situation said that Manning worked out for 49ers' coach Jim Harbaugh on Tuesday night at Duke. ESPN first reported on the session."


49ers were one play away from going to the Superbowl last year..
think Manning might be interested in San Fran?

Alex Smith must be wondering.....

jaytea11
03-16-2012, 05:40 PM
Woohooo!!!!

tpoz34
03-16-2012, 05:43 PM
I'm a Bronco fan, but if I'm Payton i sign with 49'rs----If a superbowl is your goal--49r's are closer than the Tenn & Denver.

CasualFan
03-16-2012, 06:14 PM
I'm a Bronco fan, but if I'm Payton i sign with 49'rs----If a superbowl is your goal--49r's are closer than the Tenn & Denver.

Not necessarily, as the path to the SB in the NFC is a difficult one, and probably goes through a guy quarterbacking a team with the same last name as Peyton's. The Manning family would prefer a situation where it's an all-Manning Super Bowl, where the family wins no matter what.

Also, Denver has a monster amount of cap space to bring in Peyton's old teammates from the Colts, and any free agent on the offensive side of the ball within reason that Peyton wants. Denver's cap is $42.3 million, San Francisco's is $20.7 million. Huge edge to Denver.

Also, does Peyton want to play on an all-diva team with Randy Moss and Michael Crabtree? A receiver who takes plays off or manufactures excuses to avoid training camp and preseason is a receiver who gets the QB injured on a coverage sack.

Manning is first and foremost trying to go to a place where he's not likely to get injured. That's what Archie Manning taught his sons above all else -- avoid injury at all costs. That goes double now with the neck injury. To do that, he needs good receivers who get open, a strong running game to keep the defense honest and a great LT to protect him. We've got the great LT, a good running game, and some nice receivers, which can be added to in FA or the draft. Fix a couple of holes on the defense, add a free agent running back like Michael Bush, and you're there.

BroncoBrifromLI
03-16-2012, 06:33 PM
I'm at the point were I think the guy can go pound sand. He's playing people and while I was extremely excited at first I feel like we should brush him off at this point. He is wasting peoples time.

Totally agree! All this aggravation for maybe a couple years of playoff football? Don't forget people, for all his greatness Manning has only one SB win and has not fared all that well in the playoffs.

Buck_N_Broncs
03-16-2012, 06:39 PM
I'm at the point were I think the guy can go pound sand. He's playing people and while I was extremely excited at first I feel like we should brush him off at this point. He is wasting peoples time.

As much as i am "all in" on signing Manning, i am starting to feel the same way. I swear its like one team is eliminated and one more surfaces. I kinda wish we were one of the ones eliminated to begin with so we coulda went "business as usual" in FA.

kishzilla
03-16-2012, 06:46 PM
Don't forget people, for all his greatness Manning has only one SB win and has not fared all that well in the playoffs.

You think that could have been due in part to the team that could only muster 2 wins without him? Come on man...

BANJOPICKER1
03-16-2012, 06:47 PM
Totally agree! All this aggravation for maybe a couple years of playoff football? Don't forget people, for all his greatness Manning has only one SB win and has not fared all that well in the playoffs.

Yup but its a team game, 1 superbowl could be because of the team or coaching or even owners, bad drafts or a bunch of other gunk..:D


GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO BRONCOS!!!!!!!!!!!:goz:

teutonic7777
03-16-2012, 06:50 PM
I'm at the point were I think the guy can go pound sand. He's playing people and while I was extremely excited at first I feel like we should brush him off at this point. He is wasting peoples time.

I agree with this. This is getting annoying. He said he wanted to make a decision by Tuesday which was the start of free agency but that obviously didn't happen. Now it looks like the middle of next week at least. It wouldn't be a huge deal but it is most certainly affecting the rest of our free agency because of the money that he will require. That big of contract requires more planning. So he has definitely affected our free agency aggression negatively and I don't like that.

kishzilla
03-16-2012, 06:53 PM
I agree with this. This is getting annoying. He said he wanted to make a decision by Tuesday which was the start of free agency but that obviously didn't happen. Now it looks like the middle of next week at least. It wouldn't be a huge deal but it is most certainly affecting the rest of our free agency because of the money that he will require. That big of contract requires more planning. So he has definitely affected our free agency aggression negatively and I don't like that.

If I had to make a decision, on where I would be working for the next 5 years, and moving my wife and children, I would probably need at least a week to mull it over. Especially if I had 3 different choices that all seemed pretty good.

Man, people get antsy and impatient in the offseason I guess lol.

Al Wilson 4 Mayor
03-16-2012, 07:01 PM
I've gotta say, Manning and his agent are playing this game masterfully.

MHSalute
03-16-2012, 10:54 PM
I think a lot of credit should go to our FO. It is not easy to have the first "pitch" and remain a constant top option. They must have really done a great job on that initial visit.

Not sure why everyone is so impatient to the point they want to tell him to pound sand? Manning is doing what any top FA player should do, weigh the option and maximize the offers.

LSIGRAD09
03-17-2012, 09:48 AM
I think a lot of credit should go to our FO. It is not easy to have the first "pitch" and remain a constant top option. They must have really done a great job on that initial visit.

Not sure why everyone is so impatient to the point they want to tell him to pound sand? Manning is doing what any top FA player should do, weigh the option and maximize the offers.


I think it is more frustration that we might be chasing a wild goose and ignoring potential free agents in needed spots on the team.

At least that is what makes me a tad annoyed.:thumb:

broncolassiter
03-17-2012, 10:27 AM
I'm not convinced that the 49ers are in pursuit of Manning. I'm starting to think that it is all a way of driving the price up. It is time to tell Manning to take a hike so we can move on with Tebow or another QB that we may draft.

PAINTERDAVE
03-17-2012, 11:03 AM
I'm not convinced that the 49ers are in pursuit of Manning. I'm starting to think that it is all a way of driving the price up. It is time to tell Manning to take a hike so we can move on with Tebow or another QB that we may draft.

Wont happen.

Whoever Manning picks is gonna fall on their knees with delight...
kneeling before the king with abject adoration.

Pruke
03-17-2012, 11:12 AM
Wont happen.

Whoever Manning picks is gonna fall on their knees with delight...
kneeling before the king with abject adoration.

Yes. Let's hope the knee pads are orange & blue