Randy Moss isn’t the only aging NFL star who had a personal workout with 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh this week.
According to former 49ers quarterback Steve Young, the team quietly worked out Peyton Manning this week, and Harbaugh — who was Manning’s predecessor as the Colts’ starting quarterback — got out on the field and did some throwing with Manning. Apparently Harbaugh liked Manning’s arm better than his own, because the 49ers emerged from that workout very interested in signing Manning. And Young said on SportsCenter that he believes the 49ers have handled everything exactly the right way, starting with G.M. Trent Baalke quietly laying the groundwork, and are now the favorites to secure Manning’s services.
“Trent Baalke laid low, he did the research, Jim Harbaugh threw with Peyton Manning,” Young said. “They didn’t get in the front pages. They know that they are the best answer for Peyton Manning. They know they have the best defense in the league to offer. They know they have the offensive weapons. They know they have Jim Harbaugh. They know all the pieces in place for Peyton Manning. It is the best opportunity for Peyton Manning. They knew it, and they waited for the wannabes to exhaust themselves, and then they came in right at the end, and that’s why I think they’ll probably land him at this point.”
Young said the 49ers’ presence in the NFC Championship Game last season makes them exactly the kind of team Manning wants to join: A team that’s already in contention and that can get over the top in 2012.
“I know Peyton Manning is looking for a team to join now and win a division now and go to the Super Bowl now,” Young said. “That’s the San Francisco 49ers.”