Manning may hold Broncos hostage

March, 12, 2012
3/12/12
9:13
PM ET
Don’t be surprised if the Denver Broncos refrain from adding pricey free agents until they get an answer on where Peyton Manning will sign.

I have gotten the sense that Denver will wait on Manning before making its major decisions. It makes sense, because Denver’s needs and salary-cap availability will depend on what Manning does. If Manning does sign with Denver, several of Manning’s former teammates in Indianapolis, including tight end Dallas Clark, receivers Reggie Wayne, Anthony Gonzalez and Pierre Garcon and center Jeff Saturday could be in play, as could others who might fit well with Manning.

This approach, of course, would be a calculated risk for Denver. If Manning goes elsewhere, the Broncos will have to scramble with their non-Manning plan. Because free agency starts Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET, Denver could lose out on some targets if the Manning decision takes too long.

But Denver wants Manning so badly — and might like its odds of landing him enough to take that chance.

In other AFC West news:

A frank Mike Tolbert discusses why he likely won’t be signing with the Jets in free agency. The running back’s agent, Joel Turner, said Monday that he and the Chargers are working to try get a deal done with Tolbert before free agency begins. However, there are no guarantees Tolbert will be signed by then.

The Houston Chronicle is reporting that the Texans will not be interested in Manning.

The Texans did cut tackle Eric Winston, who could be among the players both the Chiefs and Chargers look at.

Add Denver to the list of teams that might show interest in San Diego free-agent safety Steve Gregory.

There have been recent indications the Chargers might not be players for Miami defensive tackle Paul Soliai. However, the Chiefs and Broncos may show interest.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN San Francisco 49ers reporter

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