Now that Peyton Manning has officially been announced as the Denver Broncos' new quarterback of the future and his contract has been made public, other teams who were in the running to land Manning are opening up about the process. One of the teams that was in the running early was the Kansas City Chiefs, and on Tuesday, general manager Scott Pioli held a press conference about the process and about how it could affect the team moving forward in regards to Matt Cassel.
Pioli confirmed that he talked to Peyton Manning. And his agent. He said they communicated, specifically mentioning email at one point, but that Manning had a plan in his free agency process.
"He and I were in communication with each other as we were with his agent," Pioli said. "Clearly, he had a plan and he let me know that. He didn't get into the details. I don't think that's really his place to. He was up front about what he was doing and some of the visits he wanted to take and how we were initially not going to be part of that. I have a lot of respect for Peyton.
So why didn't Manning sign with the Chiefs? "He had a plan," Pioli said again. "He executed it. He never explained to me, nor did I ask."
"His plan doesn't necessarily mean that the other 28 teams that he wasn't going to talk to that there was anything wrong with them," Pioli said of Manning. "He just had his favorites."
Pioli confirmed that Matt Cassel and the rest of the team were aware of the team's pursuit of Manning as a new quarterback. He stated that the front office made Cassel aware that the team was going to pursue Manning before any actions were taken.
"I dont want to talk too much about Matt and I's conversation but he was aware of it before, during and after of where we were at," Pioli said. "Matt is aware that there is going to be competition, whether that competition is Ricky and Brady, or Peyton Manning, he knew. There's no reason for us to hide anything. Petyon was available, we were interested and Matt knew about that and it's not like it was going to be something that you hide. Without geting into the details of our conversation, he's unaffected by it and that's what great competitiors do."
For more on Pioli's comments on Peyton Manning, head to Arrowhead Pride.