Steve Young believes the best choice for Peyton Manning is the San Francisco 49ers.
What Manning believes remains a mystery.
Young, the former 49ers quarterback and current sportscaster, believes the 49ers present Manning with the best situation to win. He also believes head coach Jim Harbaugh’s personal approach, which included throwing with Manning, impressed the quarterback.
Young says the lure of a team that just missed the Super Bowl, one with a great defence, a solid ground game and the potential for an improved passing game with the signing of Randy Moss, make the 49ers Manning’s best choice.
“I know Peyton Manning is looking for a team to join and win a division now and go to the Super Bowl now,” Young said. “That’s the San Francisco 49ers.”
Manning’s representatives have told Miami and Arizona he won’t be playing there. That leaves three teams. Manning threw for the Titans Saturday and Tennessee owner Bud Adams has promised a contract “for life”. Denver has proposed a five-year, $90-million offer, according to the Denver Post. That would be close to what Manning was supposed to receive from the Colts when he was released.
But another report out of Denver yesterday had the Broncos with diminished expectations. That could leave Manning with a choice between returning to Tennessee, where he was a college legend, or San Francisco, where he could become a Super Bowl legend.
“All the pieces are in place (with the 49ers) for Peyton Manning,” Young said. “It is the best opportunity. They have the best defence in the league to offer. They know they have the offensive weapons. They know they have Jim Harbaugh.”
What they don’t have is Peyton Manning. Yet.
QB ON THE QT
In contrast to the wild reception accorded Manning earlier this week in Miami, Matt Flynn arrived to no fanfare Saturday to meet with the Dolphins after visiting the Seahawks.
Many analysts believe Flynn will not leave Miami without signing to rejoin head coach Joe Philbin, his former offensive co-ordinator with the Packers. “Logic would tell me he would do something this weekend or thereabouts,” Alvin Flynn said of his son. “He doesn’t want to drag this out.”
Meantime, several other clubs signed back-up quarterbacks. Shaun Hill has re-signed with the Lions for two years. It’s important for Detroit because Hill started 10 games in 2010 and if Matt Stafford goes down, he knows the system and has been succesful in it.
Brady Quinn has joined the Chiefs to back up Matt Cassel, while Rex Grossman has agreed to return to Washington for at least one more season. He will act as mentor to Robert Griffin III.
The Dolphins still have Matt Moore under contract for one more year, but Flynn, 26, would become the starter, becoming the team’s 17th starting quarterback since Dan Marino retired after the 1999 season.
Defensive back Jason Allen has signed with the Bengals, who have been slow to do anything in free agency despite a huge cap surplus. Don’t think disgruntled fans haven’t noticed.
Said one disenchanted blogger, “Some teams roared off of the starting line like a Ferrari in ... free agency. The Bengals, however, have piled the front office into Mike Brown’s Ford Fiesta.”
Matt Cassel won’t be running for his life quite so often in K.C.
The Chiefs have signed offensive tackle Eric Winston, fixing what has been a disaster waiting to happen at right tackle. And happen it did. Often.
Neither Ryan O’Callaghan nor Barry Richardson were effective there. Winston hasn’t missed a start since 2006 and was instrumental in the Texans success story last season.
IT’S NO GO
Free agent linebacker Erin Henderson is upset the Vikings haven’t given him what he considers a decent offer. “What’s crazy is I’m not even asking for big money,” Henderson tweeted. “All I want is respectable money for what I’m asked to do.” He said he might quit. “I have a son,” Henderson wrote.
“(Why would) I want to put our future relationship in jeopardy for some money that ain’t even close to being correct?
“I’d rather be broke and watch my son grow up than put my well-being on the line for money that doesn’t make sense.”
Details of the actual contract aren’t out, but Brandon Lloyd signed Saturday night with New England. With a target who can go deep and make the difficult catch, it makes Tom Brady just that much more dangerous. Super Bowl anyone? ... Injury-plagued Anthony Gonzalez has also signed with the Patriots ... Eagles re-signed guard Evan Mathis ... Defensive tackle Jason Jones, after drawing interest from the Rams, has signed with the Seahawks. Jones, along with Red Bryant, Brandon Mebane and Alan Branch present a formidable wall to breach for any team ... Jerricho Cotchery, coveted by the Jets, is visiting the Chiefs next week ... And in a curious twist, Kevin Lynch of the San Francisco Chronicle reports Alex Smith — in the middle of contract negotiations with the 49ers until about a week ago — is contemplating hiring a new agent. He’s represented by Tom Condon and CAA Sports. That’s the same Condon who is talking with the 49ers about Peyton Manning. So, if Alex and Peyton dial in at the same time, anyone want to guess which line Tom picks up? Alex would like to know. Except he’s on hold.