Peyton Manning Snubs Dolphins, Denver Broncos Appear to Be Front-Runners

Dan IrwinCorrespondent IIMarch 12, 2012

Peyton Manning is being courted by any and every NFL suitor who could use a franchise changing quarterback.
Peyton Manning is being courted by any and every NFL suitor who could use a franchise changing quarterback.Joey Foley/Getty Images

Peyton Manning has been linked to at least talking to about half the teams in the NFL. But as fast as these names were popping up less than a week ago, they're getting crossed off the list just as fast.

With Peyton declining visits to both Kansas City and Seattle, fans who are living by the news that he prefers the AFC are crossing their fingers that he could end up with their favorite team—especially in Denver.

You can now cross another AFC team off the list of suitors.

An ESPN report from Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen indicates that although Manning could still be in contact with Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin, he will no longer be making a visit to the team facilities in Miami at all.

In fact, according to the report, the only teams that appear to be on Manning's radar at present are the Arizona Cardinals and the Denver Broncos.

The Denver Post even reported Monday night that the Broncos are in the beginning stages of contract negotiations. This would be a huge blow to the other teams rumored to be in the mix.

As Denver CBS4 reporter Vic Lombardi said on his Twitter account, via the Denver Post, "I don't care what anybody else is reporting. The Broncos believe they're the favorites."

A bold assertion for a player that has given no kind of indication publicly about what his feelings are.

But one can logically deduce from this—if in fact Schefter's report about Peyton's AFC preference is true—that Denver is sitting in the pole position.

The only thing left to wonder for Denver fans is what this might mean for the NFL's new darling Tim Tebow.

ESPN Around the Horn personality and Denver Post columnist Woody Paige reports that Tebow is "all right" with the news about Manning, and that "everything will work out the way it's supposed to."

With all interested parties in the matter on edge as of Monday night, the coming two to three days should be an absolute firestorm of news, rumors and general insanity.