Peyton Manning's camp is aiming to make a decision within the next week on where he will play next season, according to sources, who add that while Manning prefers to stay in the AFC, he is open to playing in the NFC.
say 12 teams reached out to Manning's representatives Wednesday, after
he was released, to gauge his interest in playing for their teams. Many
of the teams already have been publicized, but some inevitably will want
to keep their identity secret.
Of those 12 teams, sources tell ESPN that the Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks, Washington Redskins, Miami Dolphins, Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos and New York Jets have actually been in contact with Manning's representatives.
Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino said Thursday he will not reach out to
Manning about his options in free agency, noting that the four-time NFL
MVP has enough people "working with him to help him make the right
But if Manning asks, Marino says, "I would definitely answer."
think he fits with anybody," Marino said Thursday at a charity golf
tournament. "He's one of the best to ever play the game at that
position. So wherever he ends up playing, if he's healthy, which is
going to be important to Peyton, I'm sure he wants to go out there and
play at a high level. Wherever he plays, he'll be a huge impact for that
New Dolphins coach Joe Philbin, appearing at a Make-A-Wish
Foundation of Southern Florida sports auction at Sun Life Stadium on
Thursday, told the South Florida Sun Sentinel that he had not spoken to
Manning or Manning's representatives yet.
"I have not talked to
him, not at all," Philbin told the Sun Sentinel. "We had a busy day in
the office. We're evaluating draft prospects and putting our playbook
together so I have not spoken to him."
Philbin said the Dolphins would look at "every option" to improve the team.
to God, I didn't pick up the paper today," Philbin told the Sun
Sentinel. "I haven't been on ESPN.com. I've really been busy with other
things, and that's the truth. ... He's obviously had a phenomenal career
up to this point in time," Philbin added. "From all indications he's
been a great leader in the locker room. He's had a great career with the
Colts, and we'll see how things develop in the next week or so."
Justin Tuck said Thursday he expects Manning to make any team he signs with an instant NFL powerhouse. The New York Giants defensive end just hopes it's not a team in the NFC East.
with The Associated Press at Barcelona's Global Sports Forum on
Thursday, Tuck says that he hopes Manning doesn't "come to the NFC East
where I'll have to play him twice a year."
Tuck doesn't have to worry about Manning joining the Dallas Cowboys. A high-ranking team source told ESPN's Ed Werder on Thursday that the team remains committed to Tony Romo and will not pursue, contact or demonstrate any interest in Manning.
The Indianapolis Colts
officially released Manning on Wednesday. He will become a free agent
and eligible to negotiate and sign with a team as soon as he clears
waivers Thursday. The 14-year veteran does not need to wait until the
free-agent period begins Tuesday, and he acknowledged his agent already
was taking calls.
"I have no idea who wants me, what team wants
me, how this process works," Manning told a group of reporters in South
Florida after flying to his home there following Wednesday's news
conference. "I don't know if it's like college recruiting where you go
take visits. I mean, this is all so new to me."
Manning missed the
entire 2011 season after having his third neck surgery in 19 months, a
fusion of two vertebrae. But Dr. Robert Watkins, who performed the
single-level cervical fusion, has stated publicly that he has cleared
Manning to resume his playing career, and the damaged nerves have
regenerated to the point where Manning has thrown the ball with greater
distance and velocity in the past few weeks.