After several hours of meeting with the Arizona Cardinals front office, coaching staff and even some players, it appears that free agent quarterback Peyton Manning is close to making his choice. According to Arizona Sports 620's John Gambodoro, the Arizona Cardinals are the favorite to land the future Hall of Fame quarterback.
Just got off phone so in nutshell I'm hearing that unless bidwill screws this up peyton should be a card. Nothing done yet!! but promising— John Gambadoro (@Gambo620) March 11, 2012
Arizona has long been considered the best match for Manning. They have Larry Fitzgerald, the best receiver and hardest worker in the game, a dome, great weather and a coaching staff that has had success with a veteran QB that wants to be a part of the offensive game plan. Additionally, they have a good young defense and a division that is still seen as weak.
Manning did not play in 2011 because of procedures to his neck. He was recently released by the Indianapolis Colts, for whom he had played his whole career, as he was due a $28 million bonus. The Colts have the number one pick in the 2012 NFL Draft and are expected to select Andrew Luck and rebuild without Manning.
The big question now is whether or not the Bidwill family messes this up. They have long had the reputation of going on the cheap and spurning players. There is some sentiment that they would not pull the trigger on a deal that Manning desires, due to the fact that the team shelled out a lot of money and made a trade to acquire for Kevin Kolb.
However, the franchise has made gains in showing it does what it can to win. regardless of how they feel about Kolb, acquiring a guy who could arguably be the best quarterback of all time in the NFL, it is something you have to consider.
Will it happen? Manning is expected to make his decision by Tuesday.