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Report: Titans, Broncos are Manning finalists; Denver to watch workout

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer
Is Tennessee out of the Manning race? Or does it have the upper hand against Denver? (Getty Images)

Is Friday the day we're going to find out if Peyton Manning has made the decision about the next step in his career? It's beginning to seem that way.

The Denver Post is reporting that the Cardinals are close to falling out of the race and that they should know by today's 4 p.m. ET deadline when they would have to give Kevin Kolb his $7 million roster bonus. NFL.com's Jeff Darlington also is reporting that Manning personally called the Dolphins on Thursday to inform them that he won't be taking a job in Miami*.

*Which is probably why the Dolphins are hoping their visit with Matt Flynn goes really well.

So, assuming both of those teams truly are out of the running, that leaves the Broncos and the Titans as the two finalists for Manning's services.

Considering Twitter is buzzing that an airplane tied to the Denver organization is en route to Raleigh, where Manning is currently staying, and is supposed to land at 1:16 p.m. ET, you have to wonder if the Broncos have taken the lead.

Or if they're simply going to watch Manning work out, as ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports. As ESPN's Adam Schefter reports, the Broncos traveling party includes John Elway, John Fox, the team's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, general manager Brian Xanders and a medical team.

Perhaps, they'll get a chance to see what former Volunteers offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe, now the head coach at Duke, has been talking about. Cutcliffe told the Tennessean that Manning is on track to play in 2012, and considering Cutcliffe has seen plenty of Manning lately, he probably knows what he's talking about.

"It's incredible how much progress he's made in throwing the football," Cutcliffe said. "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."

The Broncos will see for themselves.

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