First of all, if you want to track everything that has been and is going on with Peyton Manning, then you need look no further than Arrowhead Addict’s Peyton Manning Tracker. We’ve been collecting all the news and rumors throughout the process so be sure to check that out frequently. We often update it without updating anything on the front page.
As for what is happening with Manning now, there seems to be a great deal of panic setting in among Chiefs fans. The news that Manning has plans to go to Arizona and Miami combined with the lack of news that Manning plans to visit Kansas City, has everyone freaked out. There is a growing feeling – I say feeling because nobody has reported anything concrete – that Manning may not be interested in the Chiefs. These feelings, while I can understand why fans and media members alike are having them, are likely incorrect.
Here is why you should step away from the ledge.
1. The Chiefs are incredibly secretive. We generally find out only what they want us to know. Most of the news of their pursuit of Manning is within their control. Sure, Manning’s camp can leak things but they don’t appear to be doing a whole lot of that. Little bits have gotten out, like where Manning may go on a visit next but even those bits have been off in many cases. Even the most detailed reports on what is going on with Manning have been incredible vague. That tells me the Manning camp is trying to keep this as low-key as possible. Considering the hugeness of this situation, I think they are doing a pretty good job. No news is not bad news in this case. It’s not even close.
2. Clark Hunt’s words from Friday night should tell you all you need to know. He said that the Chiefs would talk to Peyton Manning. He didn’t say they would like to, he didn’t say they hoped to, he said they would.
When Hunt said this is also important. Hunt made his comments while Manning was in Denver and also, after the news had been reported by Adam Schefter of ESPN, that the Chiefs had indeed reached out to Manning’s camp.
Because of the lack of news of a planned Chiefs/Manning visit, some are jumping to the conclusion that Manning is just not as interested in the Chiefs as the Chiefs are in him. If this was the case, however, Manning’s disinterest likely would have been conveyed to the Chiefs when they originally called about the future Hall of Fame QB. We have good reason to believe this is what happened when other teams Manning wasn’t interested in called because of the recent actions of the Washington Redskins and New York Jets. Both teams, especially Washington, declared their intention to pursue Manning.
Yet, suddenly on Friday night, the Redskins traded for the No. 2 pick in the Draft and the Jets signed QB Mark Sanchez to an extension. That means that at some point between Wednesday afternoon when Manning was officially released and Friday, the Redskins and Jets were given a pretty strong indication that they had no shot at landing Manning. More than likely, that news came sometime Thursday evening or early Friday morning. The teams then both executed their “plan B.”
Why is this important? Because at the same time that Washington and New York were scrambling to enact their contingency plans, Clark Hunt was giving an interview where he said that the Chiefs would talk to Manning.
We can thus deduce that New York and Washington were told they were out of the race while the Chiefs believed so strongly that they still were in the race that they were talking about it publicly.
#3. Manning not being interested in Kansas City makes little sense for the simple fact that he does seem so interested in Denver. Obviously there is no way to know a man’s mind. There could be circumstance in Manning’s mind that make Denver very different from KC. Manning could have some sort of grudge against someone in the organization or something like that.
But from an outside point of view, being interested in Denver means being interested in Kansas City. The teams are similar in a lot of ways. The Chiefs and the Broncos play in the weak AFC West, both are cold-weather cities and both have incredible home field advantages. The organizations both have stable ownership and both franchises have storied histories. There is even an argument to be made that the Chiefs have many more superior and experience weapons on offense than the Broncos.
#4. Where is Tom Condon?
Manning’s agent was not with him when he went to Denver. That means there was little to no chance of a deal being struck while Manning was there. It may be that Condon is simply holding back and will fly to wherever Manning is when things with a team get serious but the fact that his agent stayed home could be an indication that Manning was just doing his due diligence with his visit to Denver. It could be an indicator that Manning and Condon already have a pretty good idea of which teams Manning is really interested in and so they are using the extra time to meet with some of the other guys just to be sure.
Manning is expected to make a decision by Tuesday. If I had to guess, I would say that Manning will pay a visit to some team on Monday or early Tuesday morning, whether that be the Miami Dolphins, Kansas City Chiefs or a return trip to Denver or Arizona. Wherever he goes then, in my view, is where he’ll stay.
Could I be wrong about all this?
But I doubt I am any more or less accurate in my feelings than most national media members at this point. The big seller on this for me is Clark Hunt still talking about Manning while the Redskins and Jets were moving on. It tells me that Manning’s camp gave some indication of their interests and the indication to the Chiefs must have been, at the very least, that there would be a conversation.
If the Chiefs had any indication that they were totally out of the running for Manning, I believe they would do something to squash the frenzy immediately.
We may never find out exactly what happened and the Chiefs may not get Manning but I believe they are still in this thing and will be until the end.