Initially, many of us regarded the thought of Peyton Manning signing with the Broncos as a pipe dream . Well, the stuff in that pipe has been pretty amazing thus far, with Manning actually visiting Denver in person shortly before a similar stop in Arizona. Now, with Peyton's decision delayed and more teams reportedly in the running, who do Vegas oddsmakers see as having the best chance of landing him?
As of last Wednesday, when Manning and the Indianapolis officially parted company, Pregame.com shared the odds for eleven teams thought to have an interest in PM, with the Broncos way down the list. Here's the rundown:
Cardinals: 19% ($100 wins $250) Dolphins: 16.5% ($100 wins $300) Redskins: 13% ($100 wins $400) Jets: 9.5% ($100 wins $600) Chiefs: 7.5% ($100 wins $800) Retire: 6% ($100 wins $1,000) Seahawks: 6% ($100 wins $1,000) Texans: 4% ($100 wins $1,500) 49ers: 3% ($100 wins $2,000) Broncos: 3% ($100 wins $2,000) Titans: 1.5% ($100 wins $4,000) Other Team: 11% ($100 wins $500)
Things have changed plenty since then. In addition to visiting Denver and 'Zona, Manning reportedly met with the Miami Dolphins braintrust in Indianapolis yesterday, and he's expected to sit down with reps from the Tennessee Titans today or tomorrow. Titans manager Bud Adams is publicly lobbying to acquire the former University of Tennessee standout, saying, "He is the man I want. Period."
Also putting out feelers are the Houston Texans and San Francisco 49ers, both of which seem set at the quarterback position with Matt Schaub and Alex Smith, respectively. But Peyton Manning has a way of making other hurlers look anemic in comparison.
These last two squads certainly have their attributes. Both not only went to the playoffs this past year, but they won games -- the Texans with a third-string quarterback (T.J. Yates). Would the presence of Manning instantly transform them into Super Bowl contenders? Yep. But given how many pieces they already have in place, questions remain about whether their interest is superficial or as broad and deep as that already exhibited by the other four contenders.
Such doubts likely explains the following tweet from Pregame.com's RJ Bell in response to a radio host's question about updated odds. Bell replied yesterday evening:
@PeterBurnsRadio Most books off board, but called a book who said: Broncos, Cardinals, Dolphins are favorites in that order.
— RJ Bell (@RJinVegas) March 12, 2012
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We've reached out to Bell, and we'll update this post if and when he gets back to us. In the meantime, however, it's good to know that at least some of the smart money appears to be on the Broncos.
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More from our Sports archive: "Tim Tebow-Peyton Manning billboard and poll: The Chosen One the choice?"