Peyton Manning nearing decision on new team: reports
(Reuters) - Peyton Manning may decide where to resume his National Football League (NFL) career by Tuesday, according to various media reports published after he visited with the Denver Broncos and Arizona Cardinals.
The NFL's free agent signing period starts Tuesday, and the 11-time Pro Bowl quarterback was interested in announcing the next stop of his career soon to allow his new team the chance to pursue additional prized free agents, the Denver Post reported.
The four-time NFL Most Valuable Player was cut last week by the Indianapolis Colts, who have decided to rebuild after a 2-14 season without the 35-year-old Manning, who missed the entire 2011 campaign after having neck surgery.
Manning met with Broncos officials in Denver on Friday and Saturday before flying to Phoenix, where he spent nearly seven hours with an Arizona Cardinals contingent on Sunday and left that night for his home in Florida, according to a report on the NFL's website.
The Miami Dolphins were still keen to meet with Manning, according to Miami media reports, while the Tennessee Titans proclaimed their interest in Manning, who starred for the University of Tennessee before joining the NFL.
Titans owner Bud Adams told The Tennessean newspaper on Sunday that he had contacted Manning's agent and was pushing for the quarterback to visit the team.
"He is the man I want. Period," Adams told the paper. "I want Mr. Manning with the Titans and I will be disappointed if it doesn't happen."
The San Francisco 49ers were also believed to be a dark horse, as they had not yet come to a new contract agreement with quarterback Alex Smith, who would become a free agent if not signed by Tuesday, the Denver Post reported.
Some other teams that expressed early interest in Manning have moved in other directions.
The Washington Redskins, who play in the same division as the New York Giants and their quarterback Eli Manning, Peyton's younger brother, have obtained the second pick in next month's NFL Draft with an eye toward selecting Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III.
The New York Jets, who share MetLife Stadium with the Super Bowl champion Giants, signed their young quarterback Mark Sanchez to a contract extension.
(Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Frank Pingue)