3-8-12: Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings - Manning-palooza Begins

(Photo by Joey Foley/Getty Images)

After some slow news days, it is time for the start of the avalanche of Peyton Manning links until he goes somewhere to make one fanbase very happy and several other QB needy ones very unhappy.


Lots of stuff in here by the way.

Arizona Cardinals News:

Sources -- Peyton Manning's reps contacted by 12 teams - ESPN
On the same day Peyton Manning officially left the only professional home he's ever had, his representatives were contacted by 12 of the NFL's 32 clubs, multiple sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. Sources told ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen that both the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals were among the teams to reach out to Manning's representatives on Wednesday.

Manning to Arizona? Coach's agent hopeful - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The Peyton Manning speculation will continue until Manning signs with another team, health permitting. Longtime NFL agent Eric Metz, who represents Arizona Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt and top assistant Russ Grimm, weighed in Wednesday with comments strongly suggesting Manning could be throwing passes to Larry Fitzgerald in 2012.

Cardinals' QB quandary: Kevin Kolb or Peyton Manning?
Peyton Manning said he will always be an Indianapolis Colt, but No.18 would look awfully good as an Arizona Cardinal for at least the next few years. It comes down to this: Do you want Kevin Kolb or Peyton Manning? The obvious answer is Manning. No disrespect to Kevin Kolb, who is owed a $7 million bonus if he is still on the roster as of March 17, but the Cardinals would be crazy not to aggressively pursue Manning and convince the greatest quarterback of our generation to play in Arizona.

ManningWatch: Myths vs. motivators - NFC West Blog - ESPN
For years we've made assumptions and educated guesses about what matters most to Peyton Manning. We might think Manning likes playing in domes, that he prefers a small market or must have full control of the offensive playbook. But now, with the longtime Indianapolis Colts quarterback headed toward free agency for the first time, we're about to find out how those assumptions fare in the market.

Schefter: Cardinals in 'final four' for Manning - ArizonaSports.com
It's March, so the term "Final Four" will be thrown around a lot in basketball circles. But how about football circles?

With or without Manning, there's a clear loser in Arizona - ArizonaSports.com
While Cardinals fans all over the Valley are bubbling over with excitement at the possibility of the franchise luring one of the best quarterbacks of all time to play here, there is one guy who likely does not share that feeling and instead is probably thinking "here we go again."

Kurt Warner weighs in on Peyton Manning's future
Kurt Warner knows the difficulty a quarterback faces in finding a new team. It took a layover in New York and a regime change in Arizona for Warner to resurrect his career. Now an analyst for NFL Network, Warner discussed the challenges that await Manning:

azcentral.com blogs - Paola Boivin - Manning a class act that would be perfect for Cardinals
An unspeakable tragedy happened to Fox Sports analyst Chris Myers recently. His 19-year-old son, Christopher, was killed in a car accident. One of the first people to send Myers a hand-written note of condolence to his home? NFL quarterback Peyton Manning. Manning is a class act. It was evident during his new conference today when his voice cracked as he thanked the Colts' equipment staff. You can tell a lot about someone by the way he treats people behind the scenes and Manning has long had a reputation for being one of the best.

Health of Peyton Manning still a concern for Arizona Cardinals, other suitors
I don't mean to douse the Peyton Manning-to-the-Cardinals fire that's already raging out of control, but just a word of caution: No one knows if he's healthy enough to play. Sure, the grainy video of Manning working out last week at Duke was encouraging. There was enough zip on his throws to believe his arm strength has improved considerably. And, if he's throwing that well now, how good will he look come training camp in July? But remember, the video was just 27 seconds. We don't know what his next few throws might have looked like or whether he even has more throws in him at this point.

azcentral.com blogs - Dan Bickley - Cardinals have their shot at Peyton Manning
Once, Peyton Manning seemed like a pipe dream. Now, the Cardinals have a real shot. Here's what's changed:

Gannon: Manning, Cardinals could be a good fit - ArizonaSports.com
As a veteran quarterback searching for a new team in the twilight of his career, Rich Gannon can offer unique insight into Peyton Manning's psyche and what he may be looking for in a new football home.

Odds on which NFL team signs Peyton Manning
What are the odds! Back on Jan. 6 we told you that we had this fantasy about seeing Peyton Manning in a Cardinals uniform throwing passes to Larry Fitzgerald. "In our world, Manning decides that the warm weather, a natural-grass field inside a domed stadium and the idea of playing for Ken Whisenhunt with the opportunity to throw to Fitz is just too appealing to pass up." Who knew that the Cardinals might actually emerge as the odds-on favorite to be Manning's next destination?

What are the Cardinals prepared to do about Manning? - ArizonaSports.com
As I try to wrap my mind around a world in which the Arizona Cardinals might be the leader in the clubhouse for the services of THE Peyton Manning. What are you prepared to do?

azcentral.com blogs - Kent Somers - Kurt Warner says Whiz's willingness to adapt is rare
If the Cardinals get the chance to recruit Peyton Manning, they will have at least one advantage over their competitors. Coach Ken Whisenhunt and his coaching staff has a track record of molding an offense to suit the skills of an older quarterback, while other teams can only make promises.

Will Arizona be 'Peyton's Place'? - ArizonaSports.com
Why is Arizona the perfect place for Peyton? Let us count the ways…

Arizona Cardinals should look at more than Peyton Manning - ArizonaSports.com
If the Arizona Cardinals are truly interested in Peyton Manning, aren't they admitting that they are not settled at the quarterback spot? And if they aren't, why stop at Manning?

Peyton-palooza: Manning will have several suitors - ArizonaSports.com
Plenty of teams will be interested in the 35-year-old free agent quarterback- as long as he proves he's healthy after missing last season while coming off a series of neck operations. If everything checks out, the laundry list of teams will be lengthy- a Peyton-palooza of sorts.

Darnell Dockett Starts Peyton Manning To Arizona Cardinals Campaign - SBNation.com
The Indianapolis Colts have a press conference planned for Wednesday afternoon, where they'll announce the departure of their iconic quarterback, Peyton Manning. This move has been expected for some time but the news of his release has caught the eye of Arizona Cardinals defensive lineman Darnell Dockett, who took to Twitter on Tuesday night and said: "Peyton to AZ!!!!!!"

Dockett: No offense to Cardinals' QBs - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The Arizona Cardinals' quarterbacks should not be offended, in my view, when teammate Darnell Dockett publicly encourages Peyton Manning to sign with the team. Manning is an all-time great, after all.

Billboard pleas to Peyton come to Arizona | ProFootballTalk
Billboard messages to teams and/or players have become something of a trend around the NFL in recent years.

Zoom: Episode 2 Preview
On the next episode of Zoom, we profile Cardinals OLB O'Brien Schofield who balances the demands of an NFL career with a unique hobby.

Audio: Thoughts on Manning to NFC West - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Thanks to ESPN New York for passing along audio to my recent conversation with Robin Lundberg and Larry Hardesty regarding Peyton Manning and the NFC West. Both Arizona and Seattle are in position to tailor their offenses accordingly.

Arizona Sports News:

Suns can't hold off Thunder; winning streak snapped
If there was ever a time to believe in a losing team, the Suns were providing every reason. Trying to pull off an improbable run for a playoff spot, the Suns were performing the incredible Wednesday night. Facing the Western Conference-leading Oklahoma City Thunder and their 13-game home win streak, the Suns were leading by 16 points with 16 minutes to go to their first four-game win streak of the season. It slipped away like a fistful of sand. The lead dropped to four by the end of the third quarter and was gone three minutes later, never to be seen again in a 115-104 loss at a sold-out Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Disappointing season ends for ASU basketball in loss to Stanford in Pac-12 tournament
Well, it's over. For Arizona State fans, maybe that's the good news. This season didn't start well, and it ended pretty much the same way, as the Sun Devils suffered their third first-round Pac-12 Tournament exit in a row. Wednesday's contest at Staples Center followed a familiar script. The 10th-seeded Sun Devils (10-21) started slow and without much passion, fell into a deep hole and couldn't recover in an 85-65 loss to No. 7 Stanford.

Report: 4 Arizona Wildcats football players arrested after fight
Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez is facing the first major discipline moment of his early tenure with the Wildcats, with the news that four football players were arrested early Friday morning.

Arizona basketball suspends Josiah Turner indefinitely
The Arizona Wildcats have suspended freshman guard Josiah Turner for the second time this season Wednesday, this time indefinitely.

Arizona Rattlers unveil new look ahead of season opener
Quarterback Nick Davila and linebacker Kevin McCullough jumped out from behind a curtain and showed off the Rattlers' new look Wednesday during Media Day at US Airways Center. The copper helmet is back, and now there is a snake-scale design on the shoulders. But the real upgrade will be unveiled in San Jose on Saturday night, when the Rattlers begin their quest for that elusive ArenaBowl title, starting the 2012 season against their archrivals, the SaberCats.

Coyotes eye chance at a redeeming win vs. Wild
Confidence is not overflowing with the Coyotes -- they have lost four in a row for the first time in the three-year tenure of coach Dave Tippett and plummeted from leading the Pacific Division to being seventh in the Western Conference.

NFL News:

Peyton Manning Will Be Released; Let's Make Uninformed Guesses Where He'll Go Next - SBNation.com
No one has any idea where Peyton Manning will play next year after the Colts release him. But people keep asking, so here are some answers. Whether they make sense or not.

Peyton Manning Is Free Agency Bound: 3 Questions To Answer Before The Madness Begins - SBNation.com
Peyton Manning is about to become one of the most high-profile free agents in NFL history. Is he healthy enough to play and where might he find his next team?

Peyton Manning Hasn't Thought About His Next Team - SBNation.com
The Indianapolis Colts conducted a Wednesday press conference to officially announce the departure of Peyton Manning, who now becomes one of the most high-profile free agents of all time. This is a huge day for the rest of the NFL because quarterbacks of Manning's caliber rarely (if ever) become available in free agency.

Peyton Manning On Injury: 'I'm Feeling Closer And Closer' - SBNation.com
For Indianapolis Colts fans, Wednesday's press conference announcing the release of Peyton Manning was a sad day, the end of an era. But for the fan bases of many other teams, it was a day to celebrate. Manning is en route to free agency.

Colts Owner On Peyton Manning: 'The 18 Jersey Will Never Be Worn Again By A Colt' - SBNation.com
Both Peyton Manning and Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay were teary-eyed at times as they officially announced Manning's release at a Wednesday news conference. The two have been together since the Colts drafted Manning with the No. 1 overall pick in the 1998 NFL draft and things came to an end on Wednesday as the Colts sent Manning off to free agency. Irsay had to stop and compose himself a couple of times throughout his speech as he talked about the process that led to Wednesday's press conference.

Peyton Manning Press Conference: Former Colts QB Says He Can Still Play - SBNation.com
As expected, the press conference on Wednesday with Peyton Manning and Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay was to announce that the team and their longtime superstar quarterback will be parting ways.

Peyton Manning's Nerves Still Key To Free Agency Tour - SBNation.com
With multiple teams likely to pursue Peyton Manning's services when he is officially released by the Indianapolis Colts, the primary question that remains is whether the future Hall of Fame quarterback has recovered sufficiently from last September's cervical vertebral fusion to play at the level we are all accustomed to watching. Ultimately, the answer will have less to do with the health of Manning's surgically-repaired neck than it does the nerves along his right arm.

Peyton Manning Will Run His Own Free Agency Tour - SBNation.com
Pat Kirwan of CBSSports.com has an excellent look into what might be coming as Peyton Manning embarks on his first ever free agency tour. Put simply, Manning will control the entire process. Kirwan speaks from experience from the last time a free agent as highly regarded as Manning hit the market.

Peyton Manning, Jim Irsay Both Come Out Looking Good After Press Conference - SBNation.com
The Peyton Manning press conference is over and the reaction from Indianapolis Colts fans is that the press conference went about as well as expected. Both Manning and team owner Jim Irsay were emotional at times as they said their public goodbyes and SB Nation's Colts blog, Stampede Blue, tweets that both sides "came out looking good."

Peyton Manning Is Officially A Free Agent As Of 4 P.M. ET - SBNation.com
At 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Peyton Manning officially became a free agent. The Indianapolis Colts filed the paperwork with the league so it's all official. This means any time can begin pursuing Manning, which usually starts with a phone call to the agent.

Peyton Manning Flies Home, Everyone Goes Crazy - SBNation.com
You can already tell this Peyton Manning free agency story is going to be pretty crazy. On Tuesday night, Manning and owner Jim Irsay flew from Miami to Indianapolis for Wednesday's press conference. So, naturally, Manning went back home to Florida after the press conference. When he arrived, the local TV station had a helicopter there to snap photos. This of course made Dolphins fans go crazy.

Peyton Manning Is A Really Good Tipper - From Our Editors - SBNation.com
Deadspin has come across a restaurant bill left by Peyton Manning, in which the noted pass enthusiast tipped $200 on a $740 tab. That tab, mind you, looks like it already included an 18 percent gratuity, so Manning effectively tipped about 55 percent.

Marcus Trufant, Seahawks Are Parting Ways - SBNation.com
The Seattle Seahawks are expected to part ways with a longtime member of the team. Marcus Trufant will be released, according to the Seattle Times. The Seahawks picked him up nine years ago in the first round of the 2003 NFL Draft.

Bounty report paints ugly picture for Saints, NFL | ProFootballTalk
The NFL’s overall level of concern regarding the bounty system maintained by the Saints became obvious when the league tried to drop the press release announcing the findings into the shallow end of the news cycle by releasing it on late Friday afternoon.

Tarkenton's big hit on Gregg Williams - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Hall of Famer Frank Tarkenton has occasionally taken some shots at current NFL quarterbacks, notably Jay Cutler and Brett Favre. Tarkenton found an even easier target in former New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, now with the St. Louis Rams. Tarkenton, writing for the Wall Street Journal, is calling for a lifetime ban against Williams for his involvement in rewarding players for injuring opponents.

Favre says ref apologized for missing a hit in NFC Championship | ProFootballTalk
New light has been shed on the way the Saints roughed up Brett Favre in the 2010 NFC Championship Game after the revelation that cash bounties were offered to any Saint who could knock Favre out. The Saints didn’t succeed in getting Favre out of the game, but they did hit him repeatedly, get flagged for some hits and fined for others. And Favre says the referee apologized to him for missing one hit that was fined and not flagged.

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