- Associated Press - Monday, March 12, 2012

TEMPE, ARIZ. (AP) - The Arizona Cardinals, for decades the laughingstock of the NFL, find themselves in the running for the services of one of the game’s greatest quarterbacks.

Peyton Manning spent nearly 6 1/2 hours at the Arizona Cardinals‘ headquarters and training facility on Sunday in meetings designed to lure the superstar to the desert.

The session followed a meeting of nearly six hours Manning had at the Broncos’ facility in Denver on Friday night. The two sessions were evidence that, for the time being at least, Arizona and Denver appear to be the top two contenders.

After his Arizona visit, Manning headed home to Florida, where he may or may not meet with the Miami Dolphins and return to his workouts as he comes back from a series of neck surgeries.

Manning waved and smiled at cheering fans as he walked from the Cardinals‘ facility to coach Ken Whisenhunt’s white SUV. With the coach at the wheel, Manning waved again as the SUV pulled through the security gate and past the loud supporters.

Titans owner Bud Adams told The Tennessean on Sunday that he has contacted Manning’s agent, Tom Condon, to express his interest and ask for the quarterback to visit the Titans. The 89-year-old Adams said he will be upset if he doesn’t land the former Indianapolis Colts star.

Multiple reports on Sunday had Manning declining visits to Seattle and Kansas City.

Cardinals President Michael Bidwill, son of owner Bill Bidwill, left immediately after Manning and Whisenhunt did. It has been under the younger Bidwill’s leadership that the franchise has shed its penny-pinching image and found success on the field.

Larry Fitzgerald, one of the best receivers in the game and considered a prime reason why Manning might choose Arizona, spent about three hours at the Manning sessions before leaving to make a flight to Australia for a vacation.

General manager Rod Graves and most members of Whisenhunt’s staff, including offensive line and assistant head coach Russ Grimm. Wide receiver Andre Roberts spent several hours there, as did Lisa Manning (no relation), the Cardinals‘ vice president for marketing.

Bidwill arrived about an hour and a half after Manning did.

“Get it done, Michael,” a fan yelled. “Come on, buddy.”

Among the earliest of the few dozen fans who came to the facility to try to get a glimpse of Manning was 26-year-old Jarred Light, a Colts fan who moved to the Phoenix area 1 1/2 years ago.

“I pretty much grew up around him,” he said. “When I was 12 is when he came to Indy. Now I’m 26, so pretty much ever since I’ve been interested in football he was my favorite everything. I’ve seen him a couple of times in Indy from living there so many years, and now I just wanted to come out here and see if he will come to the Cardinals.”

There were several other people there in Colts‘ No. 18 jerseys.

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