Peyton Manning was released by the Colts back in 2012 and while he ended up signing with the Broncos and winning a Super Bowl, Manning evaluated other fits prior to joining Denver.
It was widely reported at the time that Manning was in talks with the Titans about joining the club. The two sides even discussed a potential ownership stake. Yet, those discussions fizzled out.
The Redskins were another team Manning considered, though this piece of information is new and comes via Mike Shanahan, who was formerly Washington’s coach.
“We were very much interested in Peyton at that time,” Shanahan told The Athletic. “I mean, I followed his career. I know him quite well, so I feel like we had an excellent chance to get him. But knowing that Eli [Manning] was in the NFC East, it surely wasn’t a slam dunk.”
Manning would have played against his brother at least twice every season from there forward had he signed in Washington. Peyton and Eli only played each other three times in their careers with two of those coming while the older brother was on the Colts and the other coming while he was on the Broncos.
“I think Peyton was disappointed. Kyle and I were kind of surprised that he still wanted to meet with us,” Shanahan told the Athletic. “I can remember talking with [Broncos GM John] Elway one time not too long ago, a few years ago. He said, ‘Mike, do you realize that Peyton, I think, was going to go to your place? I think he really wanted to go to your place more than our place.’ I said, ‘Really? I didn’t know that.’ And that came from John. I knew we were fairly close.”
Washington traded up to the No. 2 overall pick take Robert Griffin III that offseason. Manning acknowledged the trade up in the draft, which happened in March at the same time that suitors were courting Manning.
“I had known Mike for a long time, played for him in a Pro Bowl, and we’ve stayed in touch, and so I felt comfortable talking to them,” Manning said in the aforementioned Athletic piece.
“But they had made a trade for the second pick of the draft, which they ended up taking Robert Griffin III. So as soon as they made that trade, even Mike kind of knew that eliminated them. It just wasn’t going to make sense. Kind of like the Colts, they were obviously going to go with a quarterback in the first round.”