Manning visits while the cap is set

Posted by Darren Urban on March 11, 2012 – 2:16 pm

On the day the football world stood still — at least in Arizona — while waiting to see the puff of white smoke in Tempe while Peyton Manning visits the Cardinals, it was interesting to see the NFL finally set the 2012 salary cap.

The cap, set at $120.6 million, is only a very, very slight increase from 2011, which means all those contracts that go up the next year become a bigger burden. It’s a big deal for the Cards, who need to get under the cap and, of course, are trying to find a way to sign Manning. Understand, the Cards can make happen whatever they want to make happen. As has been said many times, T Levi Brown will have to be released, but that’s a 16.9M cap number right there. As has been noted a few times, the future of Kevin Kolb is in limbo right now, since the Cards have to decide on his $7M roster bonus by the end of the week (and because I know it will be asked, Kolb is a $10M cap hit on the roster and $8M if he is released, according to the numbers I have seen.) The franchise tag price of $10.605M for DE Calais Campbell could be lowered too with a long-term deal (although that is easier said than done in a lot of ways; Campbell and his agent aren’t going to negotiate his chance for a big deal down just because of Manning.)

I know everyone wants to know if Manning is signing, when is he signing, etc. We will see. Obviously more things are going on than we know about. Fitz said yesterday he didn’t know anything yet he was able to show up today to meet with Manning. There’s always something under the surface.

I wish I had more answers. I’m waiting like everyone else. (OK, not quite like everyone else, but you get what I mean.)

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72 Responses to “Manning visits while the cap is set”

  1. By Danny Heksolson on Mar 11, 2012 | Reply

    Lets wait the Darren, thanks for all your coverage 🙂

    I think both situations (Manning in or out) have their ups: If the team keeps Kolb and Skelton as it was originally planned it is a good situation anyway, and if they land Peyton it will be the craziest time in our team since february 2009. So… lets wait and see. (I personally like Manning even benched to be Skelton´s menthor)

    Have a nice waiting sunday cardinals worlwide family! 🙂

  2. By Kurt on Mar 11, 2012 | Reply

    Puff of white smoke,that must have offended somebody…

  3. By cards>niners on Mar 11, 2012 | Reply

    Are John Gambadoro’s reports true?

  4. By Ken Cadena on Mar 11, 2012 | Reply

    get rid of the 2 bums

  5. By dan on Mar 11, 2012 | Reply

    Anybody with half a brain knows that Manning will be signing with the Dolphins. This is just business as usual, drive up the market so the Dolphins pay more.

  6. By DontTakeLoses on Mar 11, 2012 | Reply

    Following on Twitter for sighting of “puff” of white smoke, lol. Geez love this… downside? None. Kolb has the potential to get it done…

  7. By pedsazfan on Mar 11, 2012 | Reply

    Darren, how far above the cap is az currently…we still have a lot of players who have not been offered deals (Marshall) or signed their tenders.

  8. By Darren Urban on Mar 12, 2012 | Reply

    pedaz —

    RE: Cap overage

    I don’t know the exact number. Once tenders are offered (signed or not, RFAs and franchise guys) they count on the cap.

  9. By MattAZ on Mar 11, 2012 | Reply

    Darren, you should have showed up at the meet ‘n greet with a 20 count box of Dunkin’ Donut holes, a contract, and a pen. Bet they didn’t do that in Denver!

  10. By earlbb88cards on Mar 11, 2012 | Reply

    Hay Darren i dont know about you but i got an uneasy feeling about this right now, i hope this meeting is not just to save face,because the many reports he wants to remain in the AFC. All of the poles and percentages have dropped the Cards from leading to after all AFC teams, do you get that same vibe or is this meeting a real chance for the cards to bring him aboard?

  11. By Darren Urban on Mar 12, 2012 | Reply

    EarlBB —

    RE: Signing

    I don’t know what the odds are. I do think the Cards have a chance.

  12. By RelayTV on Mar 11, 2012 | Reply



    Tension breaker.

    Couldn’t be helped.

  13. By Mark in Chandler on Mar 11, 2012 | Reply

    does the 120 mil cap include contracts for this year’s draft class? And under the new CBA what is the expection for contract costs for this year? We will get 17 mil from L. Brown but we still need to fill alot of holes, including 2 tackles, 3 ST and depth.

    I like Manning. I would worry about harming the nucleus of a good team in order to sign him. It would also seem unwise if signing him means we have cap issues for the forseeable future. (I realize the new TV contracts in a few years may be what teams are projecting and defering cap towards.)

  14. By Darren Urban on Mar 12, 2012 | Reply

    Mark in Chandler —

    RE: Manning/cap

    There will be cap issues regardless. Rookies must fit within the cap. As for Manning, if he can play health-wise, IMO you get him. You deal with the consequences later.

  15. By Chris Lewis on Mar 11, 2012 | Reply

    Personally, and forget about me being an Arizona Cardinals fan, I think Manning’s best chance of winning right now is in Arizona, versus Denver or Miami. I don’t think it’s about the money with Peyton, he knows he doesn’t have much more time in the NFL, and I’m sure the most important factor for him is to go to a winning team who can go to the Super Bowl right away. I don’t see Denver or Miami, even with Peyton Manning, getting there anytime soon. As great as Manning is, he still has to have the right pieces around him to go all the way. Arizona’s got the personnel, the defense, Fitz. We do need to work on the O-Line, and it wouldn’t hurt to have a complimentary wideout to help Fitz, but other than that, I truly believe if we have a QB of Manning’s caliber, or even close to his caliber, we can reach and possibly win the Super Bowl. Darren, I know you said you’re waiting like everyone else and you don’t have all the inside info, but in your personal, professional opinion, what do you think Arizona’s chances are, versus Denver, Miami, etc., of getting Peyton Manning?

  16. By Darren Urban on Mar 12, 2012 | Reply

    Chris Lewis —

    RE: Chances to sign

    I think I have no idea. Only Peyton knows.

  17. By joey kreisheimer on Mar 11, 2012 | Reply


    i think we landed the greatest QB of all time 🙂

  18. By stephen on Mar 11, 2012 | Reply

    Hey Darren don’t know how many times u have heard thank you, But thanks.You keep us well informed. I have learned so much behind the scenes football stuff just by reading your blogs on azcardinals and the FB page. Appreciate it.

  19. By azfancolo on Mar 11, 2012 | Reply

    Thanks Darren for the update. Do you see maybe Campbell will sign a long term contract with or without the Manning situation? Also how about the guys that are tender?(Not long term but some kind of contract?) Again thanks Darren

  20. By Darren Urban on Mar 12, 2012 | Reply

    azfan —

    RE: Campbell

    I think the deal with Campbell does get done before July 15, the deadline for the tagged players.

  21. By Mark on Mar 11, 2012 | Reply

    Good reporting Darren!! I know you will keep us all posted!! Here is to Manning and Wayne joining the Big Red-SOON!!

  22. By Scott H on Mar 11, 2012 | Reply

    Only PM knows for sure what his priorities are. But I have to think that being able to offer an indoor playing environment ( state of the art, no less ) and possibly the all-around BEST WR in the league right now ( certainly better that what either the Broncos of Dolphins can offer ) HAS to have the Cardinals right in the thick of this race. AND if it matters to Manning, the NFC West has to be an appealing division for how utterly winnable it is right now. Yeah, there’s the Niners, but the Cardinals were able to go toe-to-toe with them once they got their act together. And who knows if Alex Smith will be able to duplicate this past season?

    Granted, the AFC West is pretty weak, too…But the NFC West gives him another game indoors every year when they play the Rams.

    Man, what I wouldn’t give to be inside Manning’s head right now! Many are speculating that he already knows where he is going to play. That would seem quite possible given that he is only visiting 3 teams right now ( hope it stays that way ) when so many others have expressed interest. Makes ya wonder if he really does have his mind made up but is making these visits just to keep all threee teams on edge AND possibly to maximize his price when it comes down to naming his.

    I must admit, I really didn’t think the Cardinals were going to be a player in this race when the Manning chatter was just starting. But it is exciting to be one of THE players now that it is a reality. Granted, the Cardinals couldn’t be in this race if Manning weren’t interested in them. But all the same, I do applaud the organization for doing everything it has done to put themselves right in the thick of this.

  23. By cardsalltheway on Mar 11, 2012 | Reply

    No pictures? Or billboards? No Cardinal cap on P.M.’s head? Nothing?

  24. By cardsalltheway on Mar 11, 2012 | Reply

    Are we just suppose to believe he was in AZ?

  25. By Chris on Mar 11, 2012 | Reply

    PLEASE SIGN MANNING!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. By Chuck on Mar 11, 2012 | Reply

    A 9 hour meeting today with Peyton,i hope and prey that means #18 to Arizona!

  27. By johnnybluenose on Mar 11, 2012 | Reply

    darren. nice touch with the “puff of white smoke” analogy.

  28. By Mark on Mar 11, 2012 | Reply

    Releasing Levi Brown should not be an issue (I don’t think it is anyways), Signing Campbell to a long term shouldn’t be too far fetched either with or without Peyton. Kolb is very questionable with him here or released cause of the injuries that have plagued his career. Doesn’t seem to be too hard of a decision. Would love to see Peyton in a Cardinals uniform tho!

  29. By Steve on Mar 11, 2012 | Reply

    Darren: I have a sinking feeling that Manning despite his interest in Arizona is going to be signing with Denver very soon. That being said this whole flirtation with Manning cant be helping Kolbs confidence one bit even if they lose out on Peyton.

  30. By in fitz we trust on Mar 11, 2012 | Reply

    so aside to the peyton mannning signing buzz, whats going on with richard marshall?????

  31. By Rick B on Mar 11, 2012 | Reply


    Do you think it is feasible the Cards could keep Kolb if they got Peyton and trade him for something of value instead of just releasing him?

  32. By Darren Urban on Mar 12, 2012 | Reply

    Rick B —

    RE: Kolb/Manning

    Kolb decision needs to come by the end of the week. I think if Peyton is signed by then, it’ll be tough to keep Kevin.

  33. By Kevin on Mar 11, 2012 | Reply


    There has been speculation that Reggie Wayne could end up joining Peyton Manning whereever he might end up. If Manning chooses AZ, would there be interest by the front office and/or coaching staff to bring in Dallas Clark as well? He was a huge asset in Indy playing out of the slot.

  34. By Darren Urban on Mar 12, 2012 | Reply

    Kevin —

    RE: Wayne/Colts

    I think they will have to be careful with the cap. They don’t have a bunch of room.

  35. By Matthew on Mar 11, 2012 | Reply

    Darren, I read that apparently Manning was more impressed by Denver than AZ. That being said what are the chances that he takes a second look at AZ?

  36. By Darren Urban on Mar 12, 2012 | Reply

    Matthew —

    RE: Denver vs. Az

    I think until Manning talks himself, everything else is speculation.

  37. By Ken Cadena on Mar 11, 2012 | Reply

    So is anyone going to tell us what transpired with PM in AZ, or are we going to here how special his time was in Denver all week. How about MR BLOGGER.

  38. By Gerald Jones on Mar 11, 2012 | Reply

    Darren – is Big Red scheduled to play New York Giants in 2012? Wondered if that would affect Manning’s decision ?

  39. By Darren Urban on Mar 12, 2012 | Reply

    Gerald —

    RE: Giants

    The Cards do not play the Giants in 2012.

  40. By Mark in Chandler on Mar 11, 2012 | Reply

    According to Florio the cards are already 16 mil over the cap. Cutting Brown will fix that but we still have alot to resign. Manning aside, I am interested to see what Graves plans in the next 48 hours. The 2012 cap number and the Cardinals curent salary surely did not come as a surpise to cards’ brass and surely they have a plan different that Steelers or Colts approach. (Slash and Burn) You don’t franchise Campbell if you don’t have a plan to handle the extra 10 mil.

    Sometimes we see these numbers about which team is where to the cap but it is not always delineated where that number is coming from. Is that number based on 2011 salarie? estimated 2012?. As you noted in a previous post the salary cap number can be figured in many different numbers and we will not really know the number until wednesday and even then we may not be certain, we will just knwo what was done to get to the cap.

    What I don’t want to see is the Cardinals morgaging the future by defering cap so that in 3 years we have no cap flexibility. As much we all like the new free-spending Bidwills there is still something to be said for fiscal restraint and sanity.

  41. By Andrew on Mar 11, 2012 | Reply

    this sucks!!!!! i wish all this hype would hurry up and end. i wish we could just sign PM and have it done with! but that just how it goes in the NFL.

  42. By CreditCard on Mar 11, 2012 | Reply


    Thanks for the numbers. In my opinion (that plus .25c gets you a cup of coffee) — I think Manning is the Cards next QB. I believe this for several reasons: First and foremost, the Cards play in a dome with the leagues’ best surface. Second, The major weakness in the Card’s game has been their QB situation — which Manning fulfills nicely. Third, stable management and coaching. Fourth, supporting cast with Fitz, Beanie, Sendlein, and the Card’s defense. I think it is a better fit than what other teams can offer. I have nothing to base this upon, but I think Payton Manning will not be basing his decision strictly on money.

  43. By georgiebird on Mar 11, 2012 | Reply

    I am totally blown away by what the Redskins gave up for the 2nd pick.
    Even though the deal seems to favor the Rams, I wonder if the Rams can even get one #1 for Bradford. The Rams will have done the Cardinals a favor if RG3 turns out to be a franchise QB.
    And over to Manning- with all the teams after him, the Cardinals will pay dearly. It may be that Peyton and his advisers are trying to figure out if the Cards “D” is good enough to win.

  44. By Eric Hutchins on Mar 11, 2012 | Reply

    This move really really upsets me. I sincerely hope that they DO NOT offer Manning anything and leave the job with Kolb. Kolb gives us a long term future Manning does NOT. I have huge respect for him, but I don’t want another one or two seasons and done.

  45. By vnk on Mar 11, 2012 | Reply

    Hey Darren

    It’s almost impossible to digest that there are so few updates on PM’s discussion with the Cards! How could everyone be so tight-lipped? Is Gambo’s snippet reliable?!

  46. By Darren Urban on Mar 12, 2012 | Reply

    vnk —

    RE: Gambo/updates

    Maybe there is nothing to update. He visited. He left. As for Gambo, you have to ask him.

  47. By Mark G. on Mar 11, 2012 | Reply

    Yesterday I felt he would sign with either Denver or Miami; now, I’m not so sure. With the Cards finish last year and a much improved defense, I think the only sticking point would be the offensive line. If the Bidwells & Coach W. could pitch a good plan to address this going forward, it might be enough to sway Peyton to sign. My fingers are most definitely crossed!

  48. By Matt on Mar 12, 2012 | Reply

    Hi Darren,

    With regards to the cap, I’ve been on the message boards, and there are varying statements from people as to where the cardinals stand. Some say we are 3 million under the cap, some are saying we are 17M over, and a number of values in between.

    What is the Cardinal’s actual number at the moment?


  49. By Darren Urban on Mar 12, 2012 | Reply

    Matt —

    RE: Cap

    The Cards are over the cap. They are going to get under it for sure. I don’t have exact figures.

  50. By cobra on Mar 12, 2012 | Reply

    Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark fans should worry about if Manning is signed.
    1st of all, we have depth at tight end. 2nd of all, I think Reggie is more worried about where he wants to be. I think he believes more money will be offered to him if he follows Manning. Wayne to Az. with Manning could be a problem in the long run (clubhouse). I would rather see another WR in FA, draft, or resign Doucet and deal with with what we have. We have other positions that need to be dealt with.

  51. By Scott H on Mar 12, 2012 | Reply

    Being reported on this morning that Manning may be favoring Denver…that would be an interesting situation to follow with how crazy everyone out there is about Tim Tebow.

  52. By joe67 on Mar 12, 2012 | Reply

    Darren, was the Sr. Mr. Bidwill in the mtg, or just Michael? Just wondering.

  53. By Darren Urban on Mar 12, 2012 | Reply

    joe67 —

    RE: Bill Bidwill

    I am not sure if he was or not.

  54. By Michael Mehta on Mar 12, 2012 | Reply

    PEYTON=SUCCESS if we get peyton were going back to the superbowl… and winning! Larry and Peyton would be a phenomenal combo, they would be untouchable! PLEASE COME TO AZ PEYTON

  55. By johnnybluenose on Mar 12, 2012 | Reply

    i think we have to be careful about talking or thinking about guys like reggie wayne and dallas clark coming here with manning. after all, this is about manning maybe joining our team. not about our guys joining his team. in my humble opinion.

  56. By Marcelof on Mar 12, 2012 | Reply


    If peyton does not makea decision by Tuesday, will cards give up on him if we reach the deadline for Kevin Kolb? I mean, Cards wouldn’t set Kolb free only in order to “wait” for PM.

  57. By Darren Urban on Mar 12, 2012 | Reply

    Marcelof —

    RE: Manning

    I don’t see them “giving up” on this pursuit.

  58. By KK Fan on Mar 12, 2012 | Reply

    I think the one factor the Cards give PM is the dome . Something he has played his entire career in. With additional teams they play with domes as well. They have one highly respected and talented player in L.Fitzgerald. An improving Defense under the guidence of Horton. That showed great progress and promise during the second half of the season last year. Which Skelton benefited from greatly!.

    I’ve read alot of the comments on the boards regarding the feeling toward Kolb. I find it somewhat amusing that they worry about Kolbs ability to remain healthy (due to his two concussions (philly and then last season) yet have no such concerns regarding Manning’s neck injury. That was far more serious (in that its reported that he underwent 4 surgeries to correct) . Apparently the injury was more than just a damaged disc as they can be removed.

    Kolb must wonder if he has been snake bitten.First the Eagles have him sit behind their long time Franchise QB in McNabb ( practically waste 3 seasons of his career) . Then add insult to injury by replacing him with an ex convict in Vick.

    Then he comes here thinking he finally finds a home where he can finally get an opportunity to be the starter. And is expected to play for a new team in a completely unfamiliar system. With NO OFF SEASON to speak of and perform (reading the boards) like he was in the system for years. Or the starter for the Eagles since being drafted. Niether is/ was the case!.

    I don’t know what Kevin has done to warrant the amount of annimosity that he has recieved from this fan base. But I do think it is highly unwarranted

    If you do by some miracle land Payton Manning, I do hope that the Cardinals have the courtesy to release Kevin early enough for him to find himself a new home. With a team that will finally give him the FULL SEASON to prove himself. Something that neither the Eagles nor the Cardinals have done.

  59. By D on Mar 12, 2012 | Reply

    After this PM blows over and he chooses Denver, AZ needs to go hard to fill their holes.
    Resign Marshall
    Either resign L Brown for Left tackle, or sign a FA for left tackle.
    First round pick will depend on if a pass rusher is available in Free agency. If Cards can pick up a pass rusher, then the 13th pick should be a right tackle. If no decent pass rusher’s come available in free agency, then pick up a right tackle in free agency and draft at 13 the best OLB available.

  60. By BIG RED on Mar 12, 2012 | Reply

    Hey Darren, I think I just jump on the band wagon about Manning coming to AZ. It would be nice for John Skelton learning from Manning for a couple of years or a season. Also, to get rid of Kolb without having to pay that bonus money. Skelton anyway would still be playing alot, if Manning would go down from an injury. Wish lets hope not even if he doesn’t sign with the Cards.

  61. By tomanycards on Mar 12, 2012 | Reply

    Colts need all the luck they can get.

  62. By BIG RED on Mar 12, 2012 | Reply

    Hey KKFan, while his leaving to his next team. Do us the favor of packing your garmets and take the next flight with him. It’s not about just kolb, its paying someone that much money for someone that runs back, instead of doing something productive.

  63. By Michael Carter on Mar 12, 2012 | Reply

    Cardinals have the best shot for Manning Larry Fitzgerald and a dome stadium He will sign with the Cardinals it is only a matter of time this is Peytons best fit bar none!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  64. By D on Mar 12, 2012 | Reply

    I think the fans need to be realistic and not take out their anger on K. Kolb. As soon as PM left yesterday and now that more teams are getting into the pursuit, odds are not in AZ favor. The media needs to calm down about Kolb, if AZ upgrades the O line and add a pass rusher, with the extended work this summer, this team can win with Kolb…

  65. By Thomas77 on Mar 12, 2012 | Reply

    So the most recent rumor is that the 49er’s are indeed “alive” in the hunt for Manning. Not entirely certain what that means, or how serious that situation really is. And I really don’t plan on arguing the pro’s, con’s, or the possibilities of that occurring. But just for the sake of playing the “what if” game. If Manning were to dis the Cards in favor of the 9er’s…I wonder how that would go down with Darnell Dockett and the rest of our D….

  66. By dan on Mar 12, 2012 | Reply

    PLEASE sign Eric Winston…………STUD OT.

  67. By Steve W on Mar 13, 2012 | Reply

    I’d love to see Peyton come to AZ, but in the end all the speculation and wishes of the fans means absolutely nothing. Peyton will make his choice and that will be that. AZ stands a fair chance I’d think, but I’m not holding my breath.

    What I am truly hopeful for is a good competition between Kolb and Skelton over the summer. Despite all the harsh criticism over Kolb, I still think he has potential that he never got to show us last season and this time around he’ll have a full off-season (not to mention last regular season) to get settled into our offensive system. I’m also hoping that all this talk about Peyton has lit a fire under him and he comes out with a chip on his shoulder, ready to prove that the Cards will be just fine with Kolb at the helm if Manning chooses to go elsewhere.

    I’m looking forward to a very busy offseason this year, and we shall see where it leads us once the regular season kicks off. Go Cards!!

  68. By Joe on Mar 14, 2012 | Reply

    Get rid of Kolb he aint the guy way to much for his horrid numbers!!!

  69. By Joe on Mar 14, 2012 | Reply

    Big Red your spot on with the KK reply, take a hike kk fan!

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