The math is pretty simple at this point in the Peyton Chase.
On Saturday evening, free agent QB Peyton Manning ended a two-day visit to Denver with the Broncos. He was on another corporate jet and flew to Phoenix, where he spent the night and is meeting with the Cardinals on Sunday afternoon. That’s Manning on the left with Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt. Photo by Arizona Republic.Β By the end of Sunday, he was set to be on a flight back to Miami, where he’s been spending the off-season.
If it’s true that Manning wants to have a decision made by Tuesday and the start of NFL free agency, then the equation is pretty simple:
One (Denver) + One (Arizona) + One (Miami) = the three teams that have a chance to sign Manning.
Other teams like the Chiefs, Seattle and San Francisco are on the outside looking in to the chase. Now, if the Tuesday deadline is not set in stone, other teams could factor in.
The folks in Arizona are keeping a low profile in the Peyton Chase. The Bidwill family owners, GM Rod Graves, head coach Ken Whisenhunt have kept their mouths shut. Not even the team’s No. 1 player, WR Larry Fitzgerald knew on Saturday what was going on.
“I haven’t heard anything about it,” Fitzgerald told Phoenix area media. “I’m picking everything off the ticker, on ESPN and the different sports affiliations in the country, just like you guys are.
“At this point, 12:08 on Saturday, I don’t know anything.”
Less than 24 hours later, Fitzgerald knew more as he was spotted walking into the team’s facility in Tempe Sunday morning, along with assistant coaches, front office types and then Whisenhunt with Manning. The Cardinals would not acknowledge that there was a meeting, or that Manning was there.
So what does Arizona have to offer? Fitzgerald is a good place to start; he’s in the discussion for the honor of being the best wide receiver in the league. The Cardinals play in a dome and on natural grass β that’s a double-double that only Houston can match and they are not involved in the Peyton Chase. Whisenhunt is highly respected around the league as a head coach with a 44-42 record.
Next on the list according to various reports are the Dolphins, who he’s expected to meet with on Monday and then make a decision.
That time table would leave the Chiefs out in the cold, unable to get even a visit to Kansas City from Manning. That’s a pretty good indication that Manning saw nothing with the Chiefs that was worthy of going beyond a “don’t call us, we’ll call you” type of situation.