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Report: Titans making late push for Peyton Manning

Report: Titans making late push for Peyton Manning

By Ryan Wilson | CBSSports.com
Grown men might not cry but they're not above begging.(AP)
On Tuesday night, the Denver Broncos were reportedly among Peyton Manning's top two choices. There was no word on the other supposed front runner but the Cardinals seemed like a logical fit. A day later, the Titans, who met with Manning in Nashville Wednesday, were doing whatever it takes to woo him.

And after six and a half hours at the team facility, Manning and Titans head coach Mike Munchak left around 10 p.m. local time.

The team refused to comment on the proceedings butNFL Network's Albert Breer writes that while Tennessee might be late to the Peyton Party, they could have the momentum.

"The Titans have undergone a metamorphosis over the last 14 months, assuming a far more buttoned-down, professional approach with Munchak," Breer wrote. "The club expects that to appeal to Manning. As one club source put it, 'I'd be completely shocked if Peyton and Munch don't hit it off tremendously,' saying both men possess 'a great attention to detail, and brute honesty. They're both very matter-of-fact football people. ... Mike is Peyton Manning . They're unbelievably similar.'"

Munchak and offensive coordinator Chris Palmer put together a "detailed report" in advance of Manning's arrival "explaining how the offense would work with the ex-Colts quarterback as its centerpiece … The over-arching plan … has been to appeal to the 14-year veteran's sensibilities by focusing on football while accentuating the organization's new look."

Sources close to Manning tell Breer that ultimately, the free-agent quarterback's comfort level will be an important factor in where he signs. "That's another area where the Titans feel they have an edge. Manning, who played college ball with the Tennessee Volunteers, is a legend in the state, and his wife is a native. Palmer coached Manning's younger brother, Eli, in New York."

Despite Manning's ties to the University of Tennessee it's still odd to think of him in a Titans uniform. Also peculiar: what the team plans to do with Jake Locker, the eighth-overall pick in the 2011 draft. He signed a four-year deal last July (with an option for a fifth) which means that if Manning plays three more years, Locker might never get another chance to start for the Titans. Not exactly the best use of a top-10 pick.

But owner Bud Adams can explain. He's said previously that he will do whatever it takes to sign Manning in his chase for a championship and he sees the quarterback as the missing piece.

For now, no decisions have been made, although a person close to Manning toldCBSSports.com's Mike Freeman that we could know something by Sunday, possibly sooner. (The suspense must be driving Tim Tebow crazy.)

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