Peyton Manning will not become a Miami Dolphin. NFL.com reported Friday morning that the free agent quarterback informed the Dolphins by phone that he has eliminated Miami from consideration.
The news comes as little surprise. For the past week rumors have placed a number of teams atop the standings in the race for Manning, none of which have been the Dolphins. Manning's Thursday night phone call simply made it official.
According to NFL.com, representatives from the Denver Broncos will fly to Raleigh, NC, Friday, ostensibly to meet with Manning.
Miami's attention will now shift toward former Green Bay Packer Matt Flynn, who is expected to visit the team after a trip to meet with the Seattle Seahawks wraps up on Friday.
The Dolphins have long been considered a favorite to land Flynn, but their week-long pursuit of Manning may have hampered the effort to sign Flynn. Though he has been a backup throughout his four-year career, the Dolphins hold a high opinion of his abilities.
New head coach Joe Philbin worked closely with Flynn while serving as Green Bay's offensive coordinator, and has lobbied the Dolphins front office on his behalf.
Seattle is the only other team that has made a push to sigh Flynn, but the Seahawks have one huge advantage over the Dolphins. Seattle has about $30 million in cap space, while Miami is around $5 million to $7 million under the cap, depending on the source.
Miami is especially under the gun considering Flynn is the only other starting-caliber free agent quarterback on the market at the moment. If the Dolphins miss out on Flynn, the team will either have to consider selecting Ryan Tannehill in the NFL Draft and starting him in 2012, throw Matt Moore back in with the starting lineup, or find a second- or third-tier quarterback from the scrap heap to be a placeholder in 2012.