We finally have our mystery team. Not only has Peyton Manning spoke to the Denver Broncos, Tennessee Titans, Arizona Cardinals and Miami Dolphins, but now the San Francisco 49'ers have entered the chase, according to good CAA-solider Chris Mortensen, whose perfectly time release of this information coincides with the Broncos meeting with Manning in Durham, NC.
What does this mean? The Niners could be serious players, I mean, Manning did replace current Niners head coach Jim Harbaugh as the starting quarterback of the Colts many years ago, but it could also be leverage to drive up the price. Mort goes so far as to say Manning threw for Harbaugh and took a physical this week.
While the west coast would likely be a great fit for Manning - especially with the Niners having a dominant defense and running game - Manning would likely have to take quite a reduction in what teams are offering him - and play for Harbaugh - to make it happen. He could do this, of course, since Manning has more money that he'll ever know what to do with.
My guess is this is Tom Condon doing what he does best - and what he is paid to do - spin the situation in his favor. Using the resources of his agency, he can have Mort release news when he wants. I'm not saying Mort isn't telling the truth, but every piece of information Mort has released has been perfectly timed to move the dial.
What benefit is there for the Niners? Well, Alex Smith has yet to sign his deal. Maybe they are trying to create some leverage with him. Alex Smith needs the Niners more than they need him if they can get Peyton Manning.
In the end, it's all spin. The important thing right now is that the Broncos are the team meeting with Manning today. I mean, does Peyton really want to keep his brother from getting to the Super Bowl? Wouldn't it be more fun to play against Eli in the Super Bowl??
I think so. Let's hope the Manning family does too.