Manning informed his agent Tom Condon on Monday to engage in further discussions with the Denver Broncos about becoming the Mile High franchise’s next quarterback.
The imminent deal brings a likely end to the media frenzy that has transpired, surrounding Manning’s free agency, over the past few weeks. The helicopters can now return to their landing pads and all the potential suitors can apparently go forward with the rest of their offseason.
While Manning seems to have ultimately been swayed by Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway and a very comfortable opportunity out in Denver, there were a number of other landing spots that No. 18 found attractive throughout his search.
Of all the potential suitors who courted Manning for his services, there were four — including Denver — that ultimately impressed beyond the rest. Those other three teams were San Francisco, Tennessee and Arizona.
The Cardinals were one of the first franchises to line up a meeting with Manning, flying the four-time MVP down to Phoenix for a discussion early last week. The conversation appeared to go well, but with the Cardinals’ impending $7 million option on current starter Kevin Kolb and Manning’s indeciveness, the Cardinals were forced to bow out of the race early.
Next up was a visit to Tennessee, a place Manning holds in high regard following his successful college career and the place his wife calls home. The Titans seemed like a perfect fit for the University of Tennessee alum, especially with their recent signing of Pro Bowl guard Steve Hutchinson to shore up the team’s offensive line. But while Manning was surely intrigued, there were still plenty of questions about the move and the Titans franchise.
The most logical move for Manning may have been a move to San Francisco. The 49ers were but a few minutes from a trip to the Super Bowl this season and with an elite defense already in house, there wasn’t a much better shot to capture another championship.
Yet in the end Manning apparently chose with heart over his head and the future Hall of Famer will in all likelihood spend the waning years of his career donning the orange and blue up in Denver.
Given all his potential opportunities in the NFL, which team do you think was the best fit for Manning?