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Peyton Manning predictions: Four teams still in the hunt

The field has been narrowed down to four teams -- Denver Broncos, Arizona Cardinals, Miami Dolphins and Tennessee Titans. Where will Peyton Manning sign?

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  • Michael Lombardi NFL Network
  • Tough call, but Titans are great match for Manning

These things are impossible to predict, but my gut says Titans.

Peyton Manning is a creature of habit. Indy was a small market, and Nashville is similarly sized. And don't overlook the talent in Tennessee right now. Despite a rough 2011 season, Chris Johnson still is one of the best running backs in the NFL. And before his injury, Kenny Britt was on his way to becoming a blue-chip receiver.

I won't count out Denver or Arizona -- I think Miami is a long shot -- but give me Tennessee. For now…

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  • Steve Wyche
  • NFC team aside, Cardinals solid fit for Manning

I think it's a two-team race between Arizona and Denver, with the Cardinals winning out.

I've heard the talk of Peyton not wanting to be in the NFC because of his brother Eli. But at this stage of his career, I believe Peyton simply wants to be in the best situation. Playing in a dome for a coach and franchise that has done the veteran quarterback thing before (Kurt Warner) has to be appealing. So does getting to play with Larry Fitzgerald.

The Cardinals have some holes to fix on the offensive line, but their defense is solid and could keep Manning in good field position to put points on the board, which will be hard to come by against Seattle and San Francisco.

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  • Charley Casserly
  • Broncos have almost all the elements Manning wants

I like the Broncos' chances because they have many positive factors, including:

John Elway and Peyton Manning can relate to each other about being franchise quarterbacks.
They have plenty of cap room to improve the team.
Coach John Fox is a flexible personality in dealing with players.
Offensive coordinator Mike McCoy is a bright coach.

All of these are important points but none are as important as the base of talent Denver has. Ryan Clady solidifies the crucial LT position, and the rest of the line is solid. WR Demaryius Thomas is the vertical threat you needm, and WR Eric Decker is the possession route runner you need. The Broncos have shown they can run the ball, something I am sure is not lost on Manning especially after Indy's running game disappeared the last few years.

The Broncos need some work on defense, but they do have a good pass rush. Manning offenses typically play with the lead, which gives the defense a head start. The division is competitive without a dominant team. My biggest question about Denver is the weather and the fact they do not have an indoor facility to work in late in the season.

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  • Charles DavisNFL Network
  • Cardinals have it all, but it ain't over yet

Tennessee offers two shots per year at the Colts. Miami offers a storied franchise and weather. Denver offers a playoff team from last year and potentially a mentorship to Tim Tebow.

But I like Arizona the best. The Cardinals offer the volatile NFC West, a retractable roof stadium, coach Ken Whisenhunt's offensive prowess, and superstar WR Larry Fitzgerald, who matches Peyton Manning's talent AND work ethic.

Still, until he signs on the dotted line, I'm not convinced that these are the definitive final four.

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  • Adam Rank
  • Dolphins still make the most sense

Miami was my front-runner when the Manning sweepstakes began, but now I have the same fragile confidence that I did when I used to fill out my March Madness bracket. Sure I was confident at first, but now I'm second-guessing myself.

I shouldn't. All of the reasons why Manning would make a great fit in Miami still exist -- the defense makes the team a contender and the tremendous skill position players on offense, led by Brandon Marshall, means no shortage of weapons. So it seems reasonable the Dolphins could make a great pitch to offset a strong push from the Cardinals, who also have a lot of the similar positives and the kicker of playing in a dome.

However, I still see the Dolphins making the biggest bid financially and then move to bring in some of Manning's Colts cronies (like Reggie Wayne) to really seal the deal.

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  • Jason Smith
  • Titans have no chance; Broncos will win out

I think Miami is a long shot and Tennessee is a no shot. Just because Bud Adams says he wants Manning they're now in it? This is not your normal free-agent wooing. It's Peyton Manning. Offering up cash and showing him love ain't gonna do it like it does for 99.9 percent of the other free agents, who all want money and love -- in that order.

Manning knows the teams he's interested in and has visited them. Everyone else is way down the list. If he wanted to, he would have called Tennessee or anyone else he wanted to talk to. He'll tell you if you should waste your time. All Adams did was make controversy for his QBs.

This is a two-horse race between Denver and Arizona, and I think it's going to be the Broncos. After all, they were his first visit and don't you see the team you want the most before anyone else? Denver is in the AFC, which is what he wants, and it possesses a strong head coach in John Fox to go along with John Elway calling the shots. Prepare for the end of Tebowmania.

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