March 17, 2012
Young: Manning should pick 49ers
By The Sports Xchange

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning calls a play during the second quarter of the NFL's Super Bowl XLI football game in Miami, Florida, in this February 4, 2007 file photo. REUTERS/Mike Blake/Files

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback and current sportscaster Steve Young likes the approach his old team took in wooing Peyton Manning.

He thinks the strategy, along with the team’s status of coming within a hair of the Super Bowl last year, should put the 49ers in prime position to pick up Manning, he said on ESPN’s “SportsCenter.”

Young also said 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh — the man Manning replaced at quarterback when he first started with the Indianapolis Colts — took a personal approach during Manning’s workout for the team this week, throwing with Manning.

“Trent Baalke laid low, he did the research; Jim Harbaugh threw with Peyton Manning,” Young said on “SportsCenter,” crediting the 49ers general manager for stealthily pursuing Manning while other teams’ names were thrown out publicly. “They didn’t get the front pages. They know that they are the best answer for Peyton Manning.

”They know they have the best defense in the league to offer. They know they have the offensive weapons. They know they have Jim Harbaugh.“

The Miami Dolphins and Arizona Cardinals have been eliminated from contention for Manning’s services. The Tennessee Titans have been aggressive with owner Bud Adams talking about Manning’s post-playing days and saying he wants the quarterback to be a Titan ”for life.“


Denver has prepared a five-year, $90 million offer, according to the Denver Post, which would be extremely impressive as it would be similar to Manning’s pre-neck-injury contract with the Colts.

But Young raised several fair points as San Francisco’s dominant defense led the team to the NFC West division title and nearly the Super Bowl. The 49ers fell in overtime by a field goal to the New York Giants, who went on to win the Super Bowl against the New England Patriots.

San Francisco seemed in control of the game, if not for a pair of muffed punts late by returner Kyle Williams.

Earlier in the week, the 49ers added a potential offensive threat at wide receiver by signing Randy Moss out of retirement.

”They know all the pieces are in place for Peyton Manning,“ Young said. ”It is the best opportunity for Peyton Manning. They knew it, and they waited for the wannabes to exhaust themselves, and then they came in right and the end, and that’s why I think they’ll probably land him at this point.“

Young thinks the allure of a team that barely missed the Super Bowl could be too strong a pull for Manning to resist.

”I know Peyton Manning is looking for a team to join now and win a division now and go to the Super Bowl now,“ Young said. ”That’s the San Francisco 49ers.“

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