How big of a mess is the Manning mania rumor mill? Well, depending on who you ask, the Miami Dolphins are either still very much in the running to land Peyton Manning's services or completely out. Let's run down the rumors. Updated!
- Earlier this morning, ESPN's Adam Schefter went on SportsCenter to declare that after meeting with the Arizona Cardinals and Denver Broncos, Manning will not be taking any more meetings. Yes, that means he may not officially meet with the Dolphins. There is a caveat: Manning might speak to coach Joe Philbin by phone and is already more than familiar with the Dolphins' facilities after having played in two Super Bowls here. He also already has an apartment in South Beach. Regardless, people aren't reading the report as good news.
- Manning doesn't have much of a relationship with anyone on the Dolphins staff, and there's one guy on the roster he apparently isn't a big fan of: Brandon Marshall. Apparently sports blogs are busy making mountains over molehills over theories that Marshall, who is notoriously difficult to deal with and openly battling borderline personality disorder, may turn Manning off.
- BUT! The Sun-Sentinel's Dave Hyde reports that the Dolphins still consider themselves very much in the running for Manning. He includes a truth everyone should be reminded of: "No one really knows what Peyton Manning is thinking right now."
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In yet more confusion, some are reporting that Manning could make his decision known ahead of the start of the free agency period at 4 p.m. tomorrow. Others are reporting he could wait at least a week.
Whichever way the cookie crumbles, let's hope for the Dolphins' sake he makes his decision sooner rather than later. If the Fins fails to lure Manning, they'll likely get hot on the heels of Matt Flynn. But the former Green Bay backup is expected to have lot of potential suitors.