ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – Free agent quarterback Peyton Manning met with the Denver Broncos’ top brass Friday in what could be a precursor to the biggest free agent pickup in franchise history.
Manning arrived at Centennial Airport in a private jet around 1:35 p.m. and was greeted by team executive vice president John Elway and other representatives.
Their motorcade then drove a short distance to Broncos headquarters in Dove Valley where Elway, Manning and head coach John Fox toured the facilities.
His visit lasted about six hours.
On Wednesday, Manning, 35, was released by the Indianapolis Colts who balked at paying him a $28 million bonus that was due this week. Since then, there has been much speculation regarding where he'll play next season.
NFL sources say Manning will also visit with the Arizona Cardinals and Miami Dolphins before making a decision – possibly as early as Tuesday.
Former Broncos safety and television analyst John Lynch told FOX31 Denver on Thursday that Elway’s leadership role with the team could be a deciding factor.
“I think Peyton knows that John’s going to get this place right. It’s just a matter of how,” Lynch said. “And when I say “right,” I mean winning a championship. And that intrigues Peyton.”
“Denver wants Manning “desperately,” one competitor for Peyton tells me,” CNN/Sports Illustrated’s Peter King tweeted Friday morning.
Led by second-year quarterback Tim Tebow, the Broncos finished last season with a record of 8-8 and won their first playoff game since the 2005 season.
Manning, an eleven-time Pro Bowler, missed the entire 2011 season while recovering from neck surgery.