I can't prove anything, but now that we know SF has been in the mix for a while, do you believe that Peyton Manning had used the Broncos to increase his price for the teams he really wants to go to? I now believe that Peyton Manning and his advisers knew all along he didn't want to go to Denver, but when our FO and Pat Bowlen jumped in so eagerly and publicly the minute he became available, he quickly exploited that interest to increase his options (i.e., number of teams) and drive up the price for those teams for which he would prefer to play, namely the Niners and the Titans, Obviously he was hoping the Texans would pursue him as well, but they were too tight against the cap to make a play.
I suspect that someone in his camp (or maybe by another CAA represented media type like Chris Mortensen) dropped hints to Houston, Tennessee and the Niners that he really wanted to play for one of them, and then used Denver, AZ and Miami to keep generating interest from other teams and upping the stakes. Houston didn't bite, but Bud Adams and SF did, though the Niners very cleverly kept their interest under the radar. In short, I think Peyton Manning has been using the Broncos since day one, and had no real interest in coming here at any point in this ridiculously long drawn out free agent pursuit that he and his advisers have masterfully coordinated. The longer this process has played out the more I feel I am right. Otherwise he would have signed with us last week. Once he knew SF and the Titans were in the mix, however, he has just kept stringing us along, feeding us little tidbits to make it appear he still has an interest.
Unfortunately, I believe sometime early next week that PM will shaft Bowlen and Elway and sign with the Niners (best contender available) or the Titans (same division and home to his wife and alma mater). It will be a hard lesson for a young NFL executive like John Elway to learn, but hopefully next time he won't make the same mistake. Because in my opinion the Broncos FO and ownership have been suckered. They should have called his bluff and spit out the hook last week once it became known Manning was negotiating with the Titans. I would have said here is our best offer, take it or leave it on Friday at the latest. Instead our FO went begging again to where Peyton was in NC. I bet they went there smugly thinking they would be getting an agreement in principle. Guess we now know that was never PM's plan.
Peyton Manning knows this is a business, and he plays to win in business just as much as on the football field. Right now he's outsmarted and abused the Broncos FO for his own purposes, and in the process perhaps irreparably damaged our free agent acquisitions this off season. In. My. Opinion.
What say you?