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3-9-12: Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings - Manning-Palooza

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Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

Time for more links as we wait for Manning to make his decision.

Arizona Cardinals News:

Breaking down Kevin Kolb's contract and possible salary cap ramifications
I've received a lot of questions via twitter about the salary cap ramifications should the Cardinals not pay Kevin Kolb the $7 million roster bonus he's due later this month. According to salary information I have, Kolb received a $10 million signing bonus. For cap purposes, that amount is prorated over the life of the contract. So last season Kolb had a cap number of $4 million ($2 million salary, $2 million signing bonus). Assuming the Cardinals pay the $7 million bonus, Kolb's cap number this year will be $10.5 million ($7 million roster bonus, $2 million signing bonus, $1 million salary, $500,000 workout bonus). If the Cardinals don't pay the signing bonus, Kolb will still cost them $8 million against the cap, the unprorated portion of his signing bonus.

Mortensen: Cards in top five for Manning -
ESPN analyst Chris Mortensen, who broke the news about Peyton Manning's release a day before his press conference with the Indianapolis Colts, said that the Cardinals are a top five candidate to land Manning's services. "I would be shocked if he and Ken (Whisenhunt) have not have had a phone conversation at least in the last 24 hours," Mortensen told Arizona Sports 620's Doug and Wolf Thursday. Manning's release became official Wednesday, and now the guessing game has begun on who will be the perfect fit for the former Colt.

Schefter: Manning decision coming soon -
The Peyton Manning saga may have a definitive conclusion sooner rather than later. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Manning camp is hoping to make a decision on where the four-time MVP will call home within the next week. While it's believed Manning would prefer to stay in the AFC, he is open to switching conferences if the fit is right. Sources report 12 teams have reached out to Manning's representatives Wednesday to make their interest in the superstar quarterback's services known.

2012 Kiper Mock 3.0: Cardinals thoughts - NFC West Blog - ESPN
13. Arizona Cardinals: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame

Word From the Birds Blog - Considering cap space
One of the factors in the Great Peyton Manning Race Of 2012 is going to be his contract demands and what that means for each team. (He said he isn’t looking for a bunch of guarantees, but the market, and all the teams involved, is going to render that moot. He’s going to get guarantees, and they will be pretty big, I’d guess.) A lot of people want to know where the Cards stand with their cap space, but that’s not easily determined right now. Teams haven’t been told yet, with free agency — and the need to be compliant with the cap — beginning Tuesday, what the 2012 cap number will be. There have been guesses it will be a little north of $120 million, but it has yet to be set.

Word From the Birds Blog - So many unknowns with Manning
Let’s start here: Peyton Manning, at his press conference Wednesday to announce his release from the Colts, said "I haven’t thought a lot about where I’ll play." You can argue about whether that’s true or not, but only Peyton knows for sure. So that leaves everybody scrambling today to guesstimate what will happen with Manning. SI’s Jim Trotter said one team exec thought between nine and 11 teams would be chasing Manning. That number sounds about right, and the usual suspects — including the Cards — have been named many, many times across media platforms.

Arizona mattress company makes pitch for Peyton Manning
As near as we can tell, if Peyton Manning visits the Valley to have a talk with the Cardinals about signing on as their next quarterback, John Merwin has him surrounded. Merwin, as owner of R & S Mattress Liquidators, already has three digital billboards and another hard billboard posted around town imploring: "Peyton Manning Please Sleep Here! R & S Mattress." And he told us this week he's got more of them in the works. The new signs likely will take a slightly different twist in anticipation of a Manning visit.

Arizona Sports News:

Suns rally in second half to put down Mavericks
The Suns fought back from a halftime deficit and held on to defeat the defending NBA champion Mavericks 96-94 on Thursday night at US Airways Center.

Pac-12 Tournament: Arizona tops UCLA
The Arizona Wildcats took the first step in improving their resume for the Big Dance by beating UCLA 66-58 in the second round of the Pac-12 conference tournament Thursday evening.

Coyotes salvage point in shootout loss vs. Wild
The Coyotes' blueprint read something like this: rest goaltender Mike Smith, who had been struggling, and give backup Jason LaBarbera, who filled in admirably two nights ago, a chance to provide a lift to a team desperate for a win. And despite 55 minutes of solid play -- those first five proved to be the backbreaker -- the Coyotes remain more desperate than ever. They dropped a 3-2 shootout decision to the injury-depleted Minnesota Wild on Thursday night in front of 11,716 at Arena for their fifth loss in a row. The one point, however, allowed them to retain the second spot in the Pacific Division and seventh place in the Western Conference.

Rattlers enter the AFL season as preseason No. 1
The Rattlers feel they're up to task being the preseason No. 1 team in the Arena Football League's coaches' poll.

NFL News:

Free Agent Peyton Manning Has 12 Teams Calling About Him, According To Report -
The interest in Peyton Manning is, as expected, very high. According to a report from ESPN, 12 teams have already contacted Manning's reps. He officially became a free agent shortly after 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, which means nearly half the league has contacted him within 24 hours. Impressive.

Peyton Manning's Free Agency Decision Expected Within A Week -
The Peyton Manning decision is expected sometime in the next week. ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Manning will be talking with free agent suitors and is expected to make his decision within a week or so. Free agency opens on March 13 but because Manning was released by the Indianapolis Colts Wednesday, he is free to sign with any team right now.

Peyton Manning To Redskins Is Unlikely, According To Report -
The Washington Redskins have been viewed as one of the potential destinations for Peyton Manning now that he's a free agent, but a report out of D.C. suggests that's unlikely to happen. Chris Russell of ESPN 980 spoke on SportsCenter on Thursday and citing sources said Manning's camp has made it clear that he doesn't want to play for the Redskins.

Here's Why Peyton Manning Might Prefer To Play In A Dome -
Throughout the Peyton Manning free agent process we've been seeing people say Manning would prefer to play in a dome or a city with nice weather. Why? The simple answer is that the better the weather, the better Manning plays, at least according to stats provided by the Elias Sports Bureau.

Dolphins Free Agency: Focusing On Peyton Manning, Not Matt Flynn -
The Miami Dolphins are widely expected to add a quarterback this offseason, whether that's Peyton Manning, Matt Flynn or someone in the 2012 NFL draft. For now, the focus is on Manning and not Flynn, according to a report from Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports.

Peyton Manning 'Prefers' An AFC Team But Open To NFC, Too -
Shortly after Peyton Manning was officially released by the Indianapolis Colts, former NFL player Marshall Faulk said on NFL Network that Manning likely doesn't want to play in the NFC because that would prevent a potential Peyton vs. Eli Super Bowl. Faulk played with Manning in Indy and has ties to his father, Archie, so the report is noteworthy.

NFL Free Agency 2012: Good Pass Rushers Are Hard To Find -
Mario Williams is the capstone of the NFL free agent market this season, but pass rushers are few and far between after Williams. What other players out there can help a team looking to improve its pass rush?

Duncan says Brees won’t sign franchise tender | ProFootballTalk
During the 2011 season, we heard that, if the Saints and quarterback Drew Brees failed to work out a contract and the Saints applied the franchise tag, Brees wouldn’t sign it. Now that the tag has been applied, Brees reportedly won’t be signing it.

NFL Free Agency: Brandon Lloyd 'Very Interested' In New England Patriots -
The New England Patriots made it all the way to Super Bowl XLVI but they still have holes to fill and among them is a game-breaking wide receiver. It just so happens that one of those will be available in free agency. Brandon Lloyd, who played the 2011 season with the St. Louis Rams and Denver Broncos, tells Tom Curran of that he's keeping an eye on the Patriots in free agency.

2012 Kiper mock 3.0: 49ers thoughts - NFC West Blog - ESPN
30. San Francisco 49ers: Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech

2012 Kiper mock 3.0: Seahawks thoughts - NFC West Blog - ESPN
12. Seattle Seahawks: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M

2012 Kiper mock 3.0: Rams thoughts - NFC West Blog - ESPN
2. St. Louis Rams: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State