The list of finalists for Peyton Manning is down to six teams and each has to be biting their figurative nails. The tension is palpable for the Denver Broncos and Arizona Cardinals among others as they wait for perhaps the greatest free agent prize in NFL history, and the Denver Post is reporting that the answer could come today after all.
Mike Klis writes, "The Broncos are one of six teams that are considered alive in the pursuit of quarterback Peyton Manning. The others are Miami, Arizona, San Francisco, Tennessee and Houston, according to a source. It's possible Manning could make his decision by the opening of free agency at 2 p.m. today."
Whether that's speculation or a word from a possible source is unknown, but Manning has to know that tying up the salary cap of multiple teams and keeping them from moving on other free agents -- even to help the cause around him on the team he ultimately signs with -- is a detriment to all. In short, no single player has ever caused this much havoc on plans around the NFL.
If Manning is going to land in Arizona, for example, the Cardinals are going to need to address the offensive line in a major way. Yet if Manning drags his feet, it's possible that the team misses out on key free agents like Eric Winston, Anthony Collins or another tackle to replace Levi Brown. Could they be interested in Scott Wells or Jason Brown at center? If so, they will be a bit behind the others if Manning waits too long.
This is why it's Manning can't have it both ways. It's either in his best interest to take his time and make a calculated decision or he should rush it and allow the team to move forward in their full offseason plan. But each decision comes with consequences. It will be interesting to see if a major decision is made sometime in the next few hours.