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Pioli refuses to discuss Manning but does show interest in Orton

Scott Pioli refused to say Friday whether the Chiefs have interest in Peyton Manning, though the general manager said discussions have taken place with free-agent quarterback Kyle Orton to provide competition for Matt Cassel.

KCSP-AM reported Thursday that the Chiefs and Manning's agent, Tom Condon, have spoken twice about the Indianapolis Colts quarterback, and that the financials appear to be a "good fit" for the team.

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Orton was acquired by the Chiefs off waivers from the Denver Broncos after Cassel hurt his throwing hand last season. Cassel wound up on injured reserve, and Orton played well the final three weeks of the season, knocking off the Packers along with his former team.

"We've talked with Kyle's people. We've talked with Kyle," Pioli said Friday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, where he was evaluating draft prospects.

"It sounds like Kyle would like to be with us. We told Kyle that we'd like to continue to work with him," Pioli said. "Now it's just a matter of seeing if things arrive at the right place. It's not always about whether we want a player or the players want to be here."

The Chiefs went to training camp last season with only journeyman Tyler Palko and fifth-round draft pick Ricky Stanzi backing up Cassel, who wound up struggling even before he got hurt.

Pioli was criticized for not having enough depth at quarterback last season, and he's vowed that there will be competition for the starting job in training camp. But he also said that Cassel is expected to be the starter, assuming he's fully recovered.

Cassel signed a six-year, $63 million contract with the Chiefs in 2009.

Pioli also said that All-Pro running back Jamaal Charles, Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry and tight end Tony Moeaki are doing well rehabbing from knee injuries.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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