Dolphins, Broncos, Cardinals are the 3 finalists for Manning

Finally Dolphins fans, we have a timeline for when Peyton Manning will make his decision.  According to the Denver Post, Peyton Manning will make a new decision on his next team by Tuesday.  Manning will meet with the Broncos in Denver on Friday.  It’s thought that he will then travel to Arizona to meet with the Cardinals on Saturday or Sunday.  After those 2 meetings, Manning will return to Miami and meet with the Dolphins.  According to Jeff Darlington of the NFL Network, the Dolphins are confident they will meet with Manning later on this weekend, but do not have a date or time set up.  Manning will then take Monday/Tuesday to mull over his decision and will reportedly be ready to sign a contract by Tuesday/Wednesday.  Thankfully,  this roller-coaster will not be going on much longer.  AND, fans in every other NFL city can move on with their regularly scheduled offseason.

Earlier this afternoon on Twitter, John Clayton said that the Broncos are a serious contender in this sweepstakes, but that the Dolphins are still the favorites.  Meanwhile, Adam Schefter suggested that while Manning is visiting Denver first, it does not make them the ‘leader in the clubhouse’.  All of this news comes only hours after cold water was thrown onto the Dolphins chances, when it was suggested that Manning is a small town guy and that the news helicopter chase on Wednesday soured his opinion of Miami.  I still contend that it’s nonsense.

In reality, it’s probably a good thing that Manning is visiting the Dolphins last.  Although, it would have been best if he never left South Florida in the first place….But we knew he would make a rounds with other teams at some point, right?  Remember when Jeff Fisher met with the Dolphins first in January?  He essentially used the Dolphins as leverage to create a bigger contract with the Rams.  Could Manning be visiting Denver (where Tebowmania reigns) and Arizona (an NFC team) to drive up Stephen Ross’ price?  It’s not the craziest idea in the world.

Coincidentally, the NFL free agency period starts on Tuesday at 4pm.  So, in theory, Peyton Manning could be signed by his new team before free agency opens.  This is especially of interest to the Dolphins.  If the Dolphins miss out on Manning, they would be able to quickly shift focus and begin recruiting Matt Flynn, if they choose to.  As usual….stay tuned!!

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