Manning says search for new team resulted in 'gut feeling'

Tuesday, March 20, 2012 at 3:15pm
Staff reports

Peyton Manning said it was a "gut feeling," albeit one that came from a lengthy and challenging process that led him to choose the Denver Broncos over the Tennessee Titans and several other teams.

“This process was hard. It was difficult,” Manning said Tuesday when he was introduced as the newest member of the Broncos. “I tried to embrace it. It was so public, the way that worked out. At times, I said ‘Just pick one and get it over with.’ But that would not have been the right reason to make a choice. It’s got to kind of feel right, that gut feeling I was kind of waiting on. I was happy when that hit me.”

In remarks that lasted roughly 30 minutes, Manning never mentioned the Titans by name, but he did express a certain amount of regret that his search for a new team after 14 years with the Indianapolis Colts took the time it did and required the efforts and resources of the franchises with which he dealt.

According to reports, Manning spoke with five teams and conducted workouts for the Broncos, Titans and San Francisco 49ers. The last of those workouts was for the Titans last Saturday at Knoxville.

Manning said he woke up Monday morning sure of where he wanted to play. At that point, he called Titans owner Bud Adams and someone with the 49ers before he notified Denver officials.

“I thought it was important to let [the other teams] know I truly appreciate the time that they took with me,” Manning said. “I really enjoyed talking football with some other teams throughout this process. … So that was exciting for me.

“… It’s the only way I knew to do it. I hate that other teams maybe got put in some tough positions.”

Manning noted that his first visit was with the Broncos and he said there was a comfort level with the franchise currently led by Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway right from the outset.

Manning currently ranks third all-time in the NFL with 54,828 passing yards. Elway, who played his entire career for Denver, is fourth.

“I have a great deal of respect for John Elway,” Manning said. “His knowledge and respect for the game is evident in everything he does.”

He said his discussions with teams included football and offensive philosophies, and that his workouts included throws that he currently can’t make as well as he would like because of the effects of multiple neck surgeries and issues with nerves in his throwing arm.

“In the end I felt the Broncos were just a great fit,” he said.

His deal is for a reported five years, $96 million and he stressed that he planned on “playing for a long time.”

The Broncos announced that Manning would wear the same number (18) that he did for Indianapolis, which released him earlier this month. That number was worn by Denver’s first quarterback, Frank Tripucka, and later retired. Manning and Tripuka spoke Tuesday and Manning agreed to take the number at Tripucka’s request.

In their opening remarks, Broncos owner Pat Bowlen referred to Manning as "one of the best ever to play this game" and Elway called him a future Hall of Famer who “has a lot of great football left in him.”

“The only way I knew to go through the process was to get to know some people, talk some football with some people and get a feel for the environment and the atmosphere,” Manning said. “So I did that.

“… You have options and you really believe you can make any of them work. It’s up to me and the people here to make it work.”

7 Comments on this post:

By: gdiafante on 3/20/12 at 3:27

The people who keep calling in on 104.5 are not very bright. They're acting as if Manning owed Nashville something. Even Clay Travis, a supposedly intelligent man, keeps whining about it. They're acting like jilted fifteen-year olds.

Get over it. Nashville was never entitled to Manning's services. He didn't lead you on, that was the media, who was reporting it was a done deal last week, when there was zero evidence to support it. Shame on the sheep here who fell for it.

Titans fans are ridiculous.

By: willtw on 3/20/12 at 3:45

It would have been fantastic for Manning to come to the Titans! Anyone that enjoys the game appreciates what he has accomplished in this past UT-K. The Manning family are winners and hia contribution to the sport is with merit! Unfortunately, the media treated this whole event as a media circus and there will be spoil sports, little children if you will, to try and nigate the accomplishments achieved. The Titans should be appreciative of even they fact they were considered!

By: TITAN1 on 3/20/12 at 8:22

gd, you don't even live here any more. You are the one who is being ridiculous. Why are you even worried about us Titans fans. Get over it and grow up.

By: TITAN1 on 3/20/12 at 8:35

Another thing gd, you always cut down 104.5 but you must go through the trouble of listening to them on the internet. You are just a joy sucker.

By: dargent7 on 3/21/12 at 6:23

"Gut felling"? How about $95. million at 37 years old to suppress that appetite?

By: Rasputin72 on 3/21/12 at 6:45

Ilike Peyton Manning,but I had rather see him lose in Denver than I would Tennessee. In Denver he will lose because he is over the hill. In Tennessee he would lose because he plays for a very very mediocre franchise.

By: dan_wakely on 3/21/12 at 9:59

No one ever mentions how much the Titans offered Peyton to sign with them... Maybe it's confidential but I believe it had a lot to do with the decision, INSTEAD OF "iT WAS MY GUT FEELING". Also, I believe it is a blerssing in disguise that Peyton didn't come here. We got a solid quarterback stiuation here and now we can concentrate on getting free agents to fill spots the Titans are truly weak in on offense and defense. Time will tell, but if I had to bet on it, I'd bet Peyton not coming here is the best thing that could have happened to the super bowl champions OF 2012, 2013 and/or 2014.