Now the question is which club will land a quarterback who could make a team an instant Super Bowl contender.
Will it be San Francisco, which seemed to be out of the picture?
“Alex is trying to figure out what he wants to do,” 49ers CEO Jed York said earlier this week. “There have been good conversations back and forth.”
An email to Smith, multiple phone messages to his agency and to his father were not returned.
The 27-year-old Smith threw for 3,150 yards and 17 touchdowns with only five interceptions as San Francisco went 13-3 and made the NFC title game last season after an eight-year playoff drought.
Neither running back Frank Gore nor tight end Vernon Davis had been told by the 49ers they were pursuing Manning. Both are big fans of Smith. Asked if Smith is still the man for San Francisco, Gore said, “I think he is.”
Manning’s whirlwind free agency tour officially kicked off soon after he bid farewell to the Colts in an emotional press conference.
The Broncos had the first crack at wooing him, rolling out the red carpet for his visit. Team officials flew him in and he spent the spent the day chatting with Elway and other Broncos brass. He also was escorted around the team’s building by Fox and general manager Brian Xanders as he listened to their sales pitch.
After that, Manning journeyed to nearby Castle Rock, Colo., and spent the evening with good friend Brandon Stokley, who played catch with Manning the next morning and spoke highly of his former teammate in an interview on a local radio show.
Manning’s next stop was Arizona and then, this week, it was Tennessee.
The QB has a big fan in 89-year-old Titans owner Bud Adams, and Manning, who spent his college days leading the Volunteers, talked for nearly eight hours with team executives on a plane and at the club’s headquarters.View Entire Story
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