It should have been obvious when reports emerged on Thursday that the Dolphins plan to make an aggressive move for quarterback Matt Flynn. Miami’s apathy toward Flynn has evaporated because the team knows that Peyton Manning wouldn’t be taking his talents to his South Beach condo.
On Thursday, Manning told the Dolphins they are out of the Peyton chase, according to Jeff Darlington of NFL Network. (And, eventually, owner Stephen Ross will likely say the Dolphins “passed” on Peyton.)
The next team to go could be the Cardinals, who have to decide by 4:00 p.m. ET whether to cut quarterback Kevin Kolb or owe him a $7 million roster bonus as of Saturday.
So it indeed appears that the universe has reduced to two teams, the Titans and the Broncos. Just as it was on the first Friday of 2011 free agency, when it appeared that either the Cowboys or the Jets would land cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha.
And then the Eagles swooped in and grabbed him.
Though there’s no reason to think another team will make a similar move now, it makes sense to at least be aware of the possibility that, say, the 49ers will finally realize that Peyton would push them over the top.
Until Manning or Alex Smith sign a contract, it can’t be completely ruled out.