Jun 3, 2009; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning does an interview after practice at the Indianapolis Colts Practice Facility. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

You Heard It Here First Special Edition: An Alternate Theory On Peyton Manning


There’s been alot of speculation about where Peyton Manning will decide to sign in the next few days. I want to suggest to you that Manning isn’t making a decision right now at all?

Why? Because he already made the choice before this whole process even started.

Now I know that all the media hype has been about where Peyton Manning will play and his various visits. Let me ask you to consider this – what exactly are the people of the various teams going to say to Peyton Manning that will convince him their team is the right fit for him? Something doesn’t quite add up.

So I present my alternative version of events. I am not saying this has happened and I am not saying I have any knowledge of what has transpired privately in the thought processes of Peyton Manning. What I will attempt to do is simply open your mind up to the possibility that we have all been deceived.

First of all, we begin not with Peyton Manning’s release but rather his departure from the Indianapolis Colts. Given how private Peyton Manning is and the way the Colts have conducted their business in the past, the way that the situation between Manning and Colts owner Jim Irsay was far too public. The media frenzy around the situation was fueled by numerous statements from both sides which was completely unlike any activity from either before.

I would like to suggest to you that Manning’s departure was, in part, a stage show. A show that was conducted in order to hype the public’s interest in the affair. Yes, this contradicts what I just said about Manning but, if you will bear with me, we have a ways to go before I can explain why.

We then come to Manning’s breakup with Irsay. This had an element of stageplay too but from what I have read and understand of Manning’s attachment to the Colts that the emotion was indeed real. It helped to fuel the media circus of course and so it had it’s use but I won’t accuse Manning of crocodile tears. Irsay perhaps but only because he’d just lost his meal ticket.

Now we come to free agency and Peyton Manning’s various meetings and such with selected teams. The amount of time taken here and the details that we were hearing was almost to the point of how Favre Watch was. It seemed that Manning couldn’t go to the toilet without someone tweeting about it.

So how is it that somehow in the midst of all this media hype that Peyton Manning managed to get a private workout with the San Francisco 49ers? More to the point – how is that it took three days for the fact this workout had occurred to come out?

Now we get to the crux of the whole story – it is because the whole dog and pony show surrounding Manning’s release and subsequent “search” was a hoax.

Now I want to remind you this is only a theory. I have no proof to substantiate these claims and I don’t have any more knowledge than what is in public circles. With that in mind, I’ll continue.

Imagine you’re Peyton Manning. You’re richer than you could ever have imagined possible, you’re nearing the end of an illustious career and you want to finish up on a high. Upon learning that you’re likely to be leaving Indianapolis, what do you do?

The first thing you do is speak to your agent. Tom Condon is one of the very best and most savvy agents out there. If I had to guess, I would say that he would be the one to orchestrate a scheme such as what I am unfolding for you now although there would of course have needed to be help from Jim Irsay, Manning himself and even maybe from former Colts GM Bill Polian.

The next thing you do is figure out where you want to play. No doubt Manning and Condon discussed the various teams who could be perfect for Manning and in private would have narrowed it down. Forget the hoopla of the visits and such. Peyton Manning would have likely decided well before he was released where it was he wanted to play.

The next step is to hype up the media. Why? To create a smokescreen that will allow you to pursue the team that you have genuine interest for in private and thus start making initial arrangements. Upon Peyton’s release, the discussions with other teams could begin.

Now comes the obvious question you’ve been expecting me to answer for a while already – if Peyton Manning already knew the team he wanted to play for, why would he go to all the trouble of hyping the media and getting all this attention from teams that he has no intention to sign for?

At the beginning of this process, the most unclear part of this business was how much Manning was worth and how long he should be signed for. It is in this that we find the reason for the media hype – to create an artificial environment where teams would approach Manning and make the very best offers they possibly could in order for Manning and Condon to find out how much they should ask for.

You see, at no point were the Denver Broncos or the Miami Dolphins or any of the rest a possibility to sign Manning. In this theory, they were all patsies to help Manning get the right price from the team he wanted to sign for. With the revelation of Manning’s private workout and physical, that team is revealed as the San Francisco 49ers.

There is one spanner in the works of this whole theory. One thing that Manning and co couldn’t have predicted was Bud Adams and the lengths he was willing to go to obtain Manning. The offer to give Manning a guaranteed job in the Tennessee Titans front office upon retirement is a development that no-one could have anticipated. At this time, I believe it is this and this alone that has prevented a decision as of yet.

So let me make this clear – if this theory is correct, it is almost a certainty that Peyton Manning will sign with the San Francisco 49ers. When it happens, I will not be surprised and now neither will you – because You Heard It Here First.

To stay up to date on the latest from NFL Spin Zone, become a fan on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Denver Broncos Indianapolis Colts Jim Irsay Miami Dolphins NFL NFL News Peyton Manning San Francisco 49ers Tennessee Titans Tom Condon You Heard It Here First