Peter King has a really good article out today about some of the behind the scenes stuff that went on in the pursuit of Peyton Manning. It sounds like the thing that really put Denver over the top in the end was the familiarity that he felt with that organization. There really isn't anyone out there that could talk to him about the next phase in his career with John Elway.
A few of the highlights:
- Peyton had a meeting scheduled with the Redskins before they made the trade for the number two pick. He found out about the trade while at dinner with the Broncos' people. He still took the meeting.
- Pete Carroll flew to Denver to do whatever he could to get a meeting with Manning. Peyton doesn't like surprises, according to King, so he did not meet with the Seahawks.
- He met with the Dolphins in Indianapolis because he thought it would lead to less of a media circus.
- MCM can neither confirm nor deny that rothbard decked out in Titans' gear at UT is what scared Peyton away from throwing for the Titans there, but you can read this and decide for yourself:
"Don't worry," said Manning. "Just keep driving, and when you get close, call me, and I'll tell you where to go."
Roger Frazier, Manning's old equipment manager with the Vols, found a field at the private Webb School in Knoxville. Manning called Munchak and told him that when he got off the highway at the appointed exit, he should look for a black car at the end of the ramp and follow it. Munchak did. After a few blocks they pulled up behind another car—Manning's. No media in sight. Manning led them to the field. Though it was raining and water was pooling in one spot, Manning said, "I'm fine." Undisturbed, he threw 55 passes. Then they all went for cheeseburgers.