Manning Mania Update: The Plot Thickens

Published on: March 16, 2012 | Written by: Clay Travis

Manning Mania is officially out of control.

I can't even keep up with my Twitter feed and it's 10:20 in the morning. But I'm getting deluged with questions, many of them repetitive. So I wanted to put my answers all in one place. This will expound upon what I've been Tweeting this morning.

Here's what sources are telling me:

1. It's down to the Tennessee Titans and Denver Broncos for Peyton Manning.

I said this yesterday and this morning it has become common knowledge.

So which will Peyton pick?

2. Both the Broncos and Titans have put together detailed contract offers and packages for Manning to review.

I know that yesterday the Titans and Manning were in the process of hammering out details. I'm sure that negotiations and contact with the Broncos continued all day as well. So it's no surprise that media in both cities continue to be funneled updates from those inside at both places. 

Communication was ongoing yesterday between both these teams even as Manning eliminated other teams from contention.  

Why is Manning communicating with two teams now?

Because any seller wants more than one bidder.

Right now the Titans have offered substantially more money than the Broncos. But the Broncos have more cap room on the front side. So they could offer much more money -- and probably will.

3. The Titans are the leader right now.

They were also the leader yesterday after Manning considered all his options.  

4. Out of respect for John Elway, Manning agreed to meet with the Broncos in Raleigh/Durham today.

The Broncos are aware that they aren't the proverbial leaders in the clubhouse. That's why they are scrambling to make a final, sweetened pitch.

Adam Schefter Tweeted this was the Broncos traveling party: "Broncos traveling party includes Exec VP John Elway, HC John Fox, OC Mike McCoy, QB coach Adam Gase, GM Brian Xanders and a medical team."

This means the Broncos are sending all their cavalry to make a final in-person pitch to Manning. 

Putting it in college terms, this is the equivalent of sending the whole staff for an in-home visit the night before signing day. 

You don't send the whole staff out if you're in strong position, right? Put simply, the Broncos have to change Manning's mind.  

5. It will take a hail mary like performance for Elway and crew to sway Manning from signing with the Titans.

The workout is of secondary importance. (If, in fact, a "real" workout actually happens at all).

This is about the Broncos getting to make their final pitch face-to-face with Manning.

Why will it take such an impressive performance from Elway and crew?

6. Because Bud Adams has put together a massive pay package that includes a bridge to a team ownership stake and executive role in retirement.

Adams wants Manning to buy into the Titans franchise when his playing career is over.

That can't be done while Manning is still playing because it violates league rules, but Manning has been provided guarantees that he will be able to purchase a share in the team when his playing career is over.

In addition to having better offensive weapons and a better offensive line, Manning loves the post-playing career element of the Titans proposal.

This is what I've been told and that's why the Titans are presently the leader for Peyton.

Could Manning still end up a Bronco?

Yes.

But that would require John Elway delivering a "The Drive" like performance in his new executive Broncos role. He has to convince Manning to change his mind.

Will that happen on 3/16?

Tim Tebow, for sure, and a ton of Tennessee Titan fans are hoping the answer is no.

Stay tuned.

LeBron James already had "The Decision." But I really wish Peyton Manning would put a Broncos hat and a Titans hat on a table and make his decision live.

Based on what I'm being told, I feel very good that he's ending up in columbia blue.

...

(FYI, I'm first updating whatever I know on my Twitter feed. Not on OKTC. So follow me here if you want to be updated. I'll Tweet when I know something. So if I'm not Tweeting anything, then I don't know anything new. I'm not holding out, trust me.

I'll be at the NCAA tourney in Nashville today and then we'll be doing our 3HL radio show this afternoon/evening which you can listen to here: