Broncos first to score second interview with Peyton Manning

Broncos first to score second interview with Peyton Manning, 49ers also in the mix

3/16/12 in NFL   |   JoeKukura   |   492 respect

The Peyton Manning free agency sweepstakes has now gone into Round Two. Manning has met with all of his prospective new NFL teams, eliminated a few suitors from contention, and is now giving second interviews.

The first second interview goes to the Denver Broncos, who are meeting with Manning Friday at Duke University. The latest team Manning has voted off the island are the Miami Dolphins, who now intensify their efforts to court Matt Flynn.

And -- surprise! -- there is a new team in the mix. The San Francisco 49ers apparently had a secret workout and physical with Manning on Tuesday night, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. The 49ers have not re-signed Alex Smith, perhaps with the secret intention of Manning up.

Manning's Friday, however, is all about the Broncos. A contingent of Denver front office officials and coaches are in Durham, NC for a private workout with Manning, ESPN reports. Included in the Broncos contingent are head coach John Fox and Broncos executive VP John Elway.

They're ready to talk money, right now. The Broncos have a contract ready, according to Mike Klis of the Denver Post, that would offer Manning $60 million over the five years, half of it guaranteed.

"The biggest question of the day," Klis writes, "Will Manning fly back to Denver with Elway, Fox and the gang."

If Manning does not fly back to Denver with the aforementioned gang, he is still up for grabs for the Tennessee Titans or San Francisco 49ers. A full video detailing of Manning's coming and goings Friday is available below from Denver's 9NEWS, complete with all the awkward pauses and onscreen misspellings you'd expect of a low-budget local newscast.

This development is also of interest to Jacksonville Jaguars fans. You see, if Manning signs with the Broncos then the Tim Tebow to the Jaguars trade is all the more likely to play itself out.

Yes, the Jaguars did sign Chad Henne, which ESPN's John Clayton claims "kills any potential Tim Tebow to Jax trade."

Consider, though, how many season tickets Chad Henne would sell in northern Florida. Then consider how many season tickets Tim Tebow would sell in northern Florida. Tim Tebow, I suspect, is a far bigger draw in the Florida area than "Mr. I might or might not be able to beat out Blaine Gabbert."

So as we head toward the weekend, the Race to be Peyton's Place appears narrowed down to the Denver, Tennessee, and San Francisco. Could be before Monday that we know where this helicopter lands.
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