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Friday, March 16, 2012
Around the NFC West: No Peyton Manning?

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

The Arizona Cardinals' pursuit of Peyton Manning once appeared quite promising.

That is no longer the case.

Tennessee and Denver are the favorites.

"Everyone else a longshot," ESPN's Adam Schefter said.

Manning appears to be taking a deliberate approach even as the Cardinals face a Friday deadline to decide whether Kevin Kolb receives a $7 million bonus. Will the deadline affect Manning's timetable in any way?

"He'll be courteous in communication," ESPN's Chris Mortensen said, "but no."

Oh, and one more thing: Manning plans to work out for the Broncos, Mortensen reports.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says it's still tough to say how the Manning situation will play out. Somers: "Though keeping Kolb would be a gamble, so would signing Manning, even though he is a four-time MVP and has been selected to 11 Pro Bowls. Manning missed last season because of a neck condition that reportedly required four procedures to fix. The strength in his right arm was affected, and it's unknown when, or if, it will return. ... No one outside Manning's family seems to know for sure what he's thinking. The Dolphins were pegged as a favorite at first, then supposedly eliminated. The Broncos were given a courtesy interview, then became the leader. The Cardinals were in the mix until the Broncos and Titans emerged as favorites. Or was it the Broncos and Dolphins? All the above scenarios have been reported."

Also from Somers: The Cardinals are bringing back Levi Brown.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says new Rams cornerback Cortland Finnegan attributes his personality to his mother, who spent two decades in the Army. Finnegan: "It may be my Irish side. I don't know. My mom's a little feisty. If you ever get the chance to meet her, she's got about 400 tattoos and she's just a wild woman. She's military background, so I think just her wild side is sort of part of what it's all about for me."

Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch explains why he thinks Rams owner Stan Kroenke wanted to purchase the Dodgers. Miklasz: "Kroenke's goal has been to buy the team and use the Dodgers as a hub for his own regional sports network in Southern California. Such a network would likely mean enormous profits for Kroenke, or the person that controls the Dodgers. Did you think Stan has offered more than $1 billion for the Dodgers because Matt Kemp is his favorite player or that he wants to hang out with Clayton Kershaw? Please. No, this was another money-making venture. Nothing wrong with that; but let's just be honest about the nature of Kroenke's interest. It isn't because he wanted to buy some peanuts and Cracker Jack."

Matthew Hathaway of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Edward Jones Dome is keeping its name.

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com breaks down Carlos Rogers' new deal with the 49ers. Maiocco: "Rogers counts $5.5 million against the 49ers' 2012 cap after signing a four-year, $29.3 million contract that includes a $5 million signing bonus. Rogers' deal includes a 2012 base salary of $3.9 million, along with annual $100,000 workout bonuses and up to $250,000 yearly in roster bonuses. Rogers' base salaries increase to $5.5 million in 2013, $6.25 million in 2014, and $7.25 million in 2015. The deal contains another $2 million total in possible incentives."

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee passes along thoughts from (former?) 49ers return specialist Ted Ginn Jr., who suggests the 49ers would have gone to the Super Bowl had he been healthy. Ginn is now seeking an expanded role as a wide receiver. Barrows: "The irony is that he had opportunities to be a receiver last season with the 49ers. Injuries to Michael Crabtree (early), Josh Morgan (middle) and Braylon Edward's release (late) meant that Ginn was the de facto No. 2 receiver for much of the season. He played 351 offensive snaps in 2011, 34.2 percent of the total snaps." Noted: I could see another team luring away Ginn by telling him what he wants to hear, but I'm skeptical over whether Ginn would in fact play significantly more on offense.

Lowell Cohn of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat advises Alex Smith to re-sign with the 49ers.

Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle says adding Rock Cartwright could help the 49ers' special teams after Blake Costanzo signed with Chicago.

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times says the Seahawks have kept a low profile in free agency largely because they like their roster. O'Neil: "Even the interest Seattle has shown in Packers quarterback Matt Flynn, who visited this week, has been more tepid than some expected. The Seahawks' attention this year, not to mention many millions of dollars, has been spent re-signing players. No one thinks Seattle has arrived. There is a need at quarterback and a desire to improve the pass rush. But the Seahawks aren't just trying to amass talent, they're also trying to preserve it."

Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune cites a tweet from Michael Robinson as evidence the fullback will re-sign with the Seahawks.

Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com says the team has gone through 12 potential replacements at left guard since losing Steve Hutchinson in free agency following the 2005 season.