Broncos attend Peyton Manning drills
Accustomed to going under the knife, Peyton Manning is now under the microscope of several NFL teams.
A contingent of Denver Broncos officials were the latest to study the free-agent quarterback Friday, watching Manning work out in Durham, N.C.
Manning also is expected to work out for the Tennessee Titans, though the specific day is not known, sources said. He has also hosted the San Francisco 49ers in Durham for drills, sources told ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen and ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
I'm not an NFL coach, of course, but I think I know what it takes to complete passes in the NFL, and it's clear that Peyton can make all those throws.” -- David Cutcliffe, who has watched Peyton Manning work out several times over the past few months in Durham, N.C.
"We enjoyed visiting with Peyton today in N.C.," Broncos executive VP for football operations John Elway wrote Friday on Twitter. "He threw the ball great and looked very comfortable out there."
The private plane of Broncos owner Pat Bowlen left Denver en route to Raleigh-Durham on Friday morning, landing at 1:15 p.m. ET.
Among Broncos officials on board to watch Manning, according to ESPN sources, were Elway, coach John Fox, offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, quarterback coach Adam Gase, general manager Brian Xanders and a medical team.
"Watching him throw today was the next step in this important process for our team and Peyton," Elway wrote. "It was a productive visit and went well."
Manning was seen leaving Duke's indoor facilities wearing blue shorts, a gray T-shirt and no helmet and heading to the outdoor practice field followed by Elway and Fox.
Duke coach David Cutcliffe, who has observed Manning work out and throw several times the past few months in Durham, told The Tennessean of Nashville that Manning will have what it takes to play at the highest level when he resumes his career this fall.
"It's incredible how much progress he's made in throwing the football," Cutcliffe told the newspaper. "He's gotten his arm strength back and his accuracy is there.
"I'm not an NFL coach, of course, but I think I know what it takes to complete passes in the NFL, and it's clear that Peyton can make all those throws," said Cutcliffe, who was Manning's offensive coordinator at the University of Tennessee from 1994 to 1997 and remains one of his friends.
Cutcliffe was also the coach at Mississippi when Manning's brother, Eli Manning, played for the Rebels.
Manning had wrapped up his latest stop in his free-agent tour Wednesday, leaving the Titans' complex after spending more than eight hours with team officials.
"From what I've seen, he's right on target for that," Cutcliffe said of Manning's 2012 return. "Everybody knows what a hard worker he is, and he's dedicated himself to getting ready for the season."
In addition to the Broncos and Titans, the 49ers are in the race for Manning. The Cardinals, on the other hand, were informed they would be wise to proceed without Manning as a candidate to join the team and will now retain quarterback Kevin Kolb, paying him a $7 million roster bonus due after a Friday deadline of 4 p.m. ET.
Sources told Mortensen and Schefter the Miami Dolphins have been informed in no uncertain terms that Manning will not sign with them.
The Dolphins, though, have emerged as the favorites to sign free-agent quarterback Matt Flynn, league sources have told Schefter.
Flynn visited the Seahawks on Thursday and Friday.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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