Earlier today, Sports Illustrated's Peter King released what is a pretty impressive rundown of the Peyton Manning sweepstakes. Over the course of two weeks, Peyton Manning spoke with several teams in his journey through free agency for the first time in his career.
Although King does not have every nuanced detail, he hit on a lot of interesting aspects of the story we never heard about. There were a whole host of rumors floating around, with one of the 49ers, Titans, or Broncos favored at one point or another. However, while there were plenty of accurate depictions of the run through free agency, this story provides some more details.
While we have to take anything presented in the media with a grain of salt, it is still an interesting tale. For example, the Redskins were believed to be out of the race early on, but if Manning's reaction to news that they had moved up for RG3 was accurate, they were still in this up until then. Add in his meeting after that with Mike Shanahan, and things were not entirely what they seemed.
The 49ers managed to keep things very low key in their approach to Manning, but it should surprise nobody that Seahawks coach Pete Carroll was as giddy as a school girl about Manning. There had been reports about Carroll flying into Denver for a pitch and King's article confirms it. In reading it, the images in my mind still have me snickering:
Pete Carroll bounces off the plane fully expecting to charm Manning into coming to the Emerald City.
Pete's fellow coaches and front office personnel warn him to not get too excited about it.
Pete: "Oh come on! Peyton's gonna love Seattle. Why wouldn't he come here?!"
He knocks on Peyton's hotel room door. Peyton opens it up a little groggy from the trip to Denver. Pete gives a big smile and starts, "Hey Pey---" Door slams shut as Manning mutters, "You gotta be [site decorum] kidding me." Pete dejectedly mopes back to the airport.