Peyton Aims To Pick Team In Week
Peyton Manning’s camp is aiming to make a decision on where he will play next season within the next week, according to sources, who add that while Manning prefers to stay in the AFC, he is open to playing in the NFC. Sources say 12 teams reached out to Manning’s representatives on 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 it secret.
Of those 12 teams, sources tell ESPN that theArizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks,Washington Redskins, Miami Dolphins, Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos and New York Jetshave actually been in contact with Manning’s representatives.
The Dallas Cowboys, however, aren’t one of the 12 teams with interest in Manning. A high-ranking team source told ESPN’s Ed Werder on Thursday that the team remains committed toTony Romo and will not pursue, contact or demonstrate any interest in Manning.
The Indianapolis Colts officially released Manning on Wednesday and he will become a free agent and be 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 that begins next 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.