The moment seemed as surreal as everyone thought it would be.
Wednesday late morning, Peyton Manning and owner Jim Irsay stepped to the podium in Indianapolis and announced Manning and the Colts had parted ways.
Between the teary-eyed moments when Manning expressed his gratitude to the city, his teammates and even the equipment staff and trainers within the organization, many could only think about one thing.
Following the emotional, heart-felt 30-minute press conference rumors swirled across message boards and Twitter linking the future Hall-of-Famer to teams across the country.
It appears the Miami Dolphins may have the first opportunity to wine and dine the 11-time Pro-Bowler as helicopter images captured Manning exiting a private jet in South Beach where he happens to have an off-season home.
NFL agent Eric Metz, who represents Cardinals coaches Ken Whisenhunt and Russ Grimm, believes it’s going to come down to the Dolphins and Cardinals.
“He’s kicked the tires,” Metz told Brad Cesmat Wednesday on ‘Big Guy on Sports.’ “He knows what two places he likes best. [Miami and Arizona] would be the two most logical places for him. Nobody wants to live in Seattle…and Kansas City, I don’t think that’s the right fit that he’s looking for.”
When the smoke has cleared and the dust settled, Metz is confident Manning will land in Arizona’s nest.
“I think Arizona wins out,” Metz explained to Cesmat. “He’s going to win quicker in Arizona and that whole coaching staff knows how to do it and they’ve been [to the Super Bowl] before. I think they have a tremendous shot and I’d be surprised if they didn’t [sign him].”
Other suitors linked to Manning include the Redskins, 49ers, Jets and Texans.
He leaves the Colts as their all-time leader in career wins, passing touchdowns, completions and attempts among several others.