Below you will find the latest news and speculation on this year’s NFL free agency:
* Don Banks of Sports Illustrated: “Though the $28 million March 8 bonus payment the Colts owe him [Peyton Manning] is the ultimate deadline, some time this month he and team owner Jim Irsay will meet and figure out how to best part ways after 14 years. That will set off a bidding war of sorts, but a cautious one. Manning is reportedly going to get interest from teams like Miami, Arizona, Washington, Seattle, the Jets and others, but when he finally picks a new team, he’ll almost certainly receive an incentive-laden contract with a modest base salary, but one that will escalate in pay depending on his playing time, statistical benchmarks and victories earned.
* Jon Clayton of ESPN via NBC Sports: “I ran into his [Drew Brees’] agent, Tom Condon of CAA, last week, and even he’s kind of baffled at this time as far as how this is going because it’s going to slow. Everybody knows the Saints aren’t going to lose Drew Brees. … At this stage there’s been no real solid progress, but everybody in New Orleans, including Drew Brees, knows he’s not going to be a free agent. He is their franchise.”
* Tom Silverstein of the Wisconsin Journal Sentinel: “It’s early in the process and Finley, set to become an unrestricted free agent March 13, isn’t sweating the fact contract talks haven’t gone anywhere. Accompanied by his agent, Blake Baratz, Finley glided through the interview circuit Friday without much concern for the near future. ‘Hey, it’s the NFL,’ Finley said after completing his rounds. ‘With business right now, I don’t even know what’s going on… . You just have to play that (waiting) game. It’s the Green Bay way. I don’t know anything. I’ll just hope for the best.'”
* Don Banks of Sports Illustrated: “Miami, Seattle and Washington would seem the most motivated to pursue the former Green Bay backup quarterback in free agency, and that comes with the premise that for the time being I’m penciling in Robert Griffin III to the Browns in the draft, either in the No. 2 (via trade) or No. 4 slot. Of course, Peyton Manning’s landing spot could affect this list, particularly if the Dolphins acquire No. 18. In that scenario, it’d be hard to see Flynn signing on in Miami, given that he’s ready to start for someone and wouldn’t be interested in hanging around to see how the Manning saga would turn in South Florida.”
* Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star via the Miami New Times: “I know some of the people that have seen him throw. … They say he’s not throwing like an NFL quarterback yet. That doesn’t mean he never will. This thing is going to take time. Structurally, he’s sound. Structurally, he can take a hit.”