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The Early Lead
Posted at 10:09 AM ET, 03/19/2012

Alex Smith visits Dolphins as Peyton Manning continues to mull his options


Alex Smith warmed up for the NFC Championship game as his coach, Jim Harbaugh, watched in January. (Marcio Sanchez / AP)

As Peyton Manning continues to play high-stakes eeney-meaney with Denver, San Francisco and Tennesee, Matt Flynn, a former backup in Green Bay, signed a three-year deal with Seattle, choosing the Seahawks over the Miami Dolphins because “the coaches, the staff — they were fantastic.”

That leaves the Miami Dolphins looking for a quarterback and Alex Smith, the 49ers’ free agent QB, looking for a team. Smith interviewed with the Dolphins and now returns to waiting for Manning to make up his mind and pondering a change in agents (since he, like Manning, is represented by Tom Condon).

There’s no indication how soon that will be. Manning, according to Jason La Canfora of the NFL Network, is notoriously deliberate when it comes to making business decisions. Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times tells how meticulously Manning prepared for a restaurant investment, so imagine how he’s going about this. All the information is in now; it’s up to Peyton, who seems to be seeking the counsel of only his wife and father, to process it. Anyone who has seen him at the line of scrimmage knows how that works.


Alex Smith scampers about the country, seeking a job as an NFL quarterback. (Jed Jacobsohn / Getty Images)

“The teams have all done everything they can do,” a source told La Canfora. “You don’t want to pressure Peyton or anything like that. It’s not like you’re going to call him. When he’s been ready to move, he’s made the call himself. There isn’t anything else to do but wait.”

While everyone waits, the Dolphins’ reputation, Peter King points out, continues to sour — and it was fairly rancid to begin with. The Dolphins are talking to David Garrard today as well.

“In the history of NFL general managers, [Jeff] Ireland is on the coldest streak ever. He needs to do something right. He doesn't even need to hit a home run. A seeing-eye single would do. That may make him more aggressive on Smith today — and it may make Smith more inclined to go somewhere I don't think he really wants to go.

“Miami looks like the worst team in the AFC East right now. Would Smith rather rub it in 49er GM Trent Baalke's face and run off to a bad team, and would he rather pray for Manning to pick Tennessee or Denver and go back to where he's got the best chance by far of making a Super Bowl run? Ireland may have to do what he loathes — overspend for an OK player — just to deodorize the stink of the last few years in Miami.”

So that’s where everyone is at the moment.

More from Washington Post Sports

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Tony Dungy says 49ers might be a good fit for Manning

49ers emerge as sleeper team in Manning sweepstakes

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Peyton ... rhymes with waitin’

Brandon Stokley says Manning is throwing well

Manning: “I’ll always be a Colt”

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Archie Manning says his son is throwing well again

Did Manning suffer neck injury in game against Redskins?

Manning’s fourth surgery

Agent says, “Peyton’s not done”

By  |  10:09 AM ET, 03/19/2012

 
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