In the end, the personal trumped the professional, perhaps.
The Denver Broncos are Peyton Manning's choice as a new home.
(And, as soon as the news broke, the Broncos immediately went from a 75-1 pick to win the Super Bowl to a 10-1 pick. Even though we don't even know yet how effective Manning is going to be).
Anyway ... what does this say about Manning's mindset and motivations as a 36-year-old quarterback headed into career twilight?
It says instant gratification - i.e., winning a Super Bowl right now -- wasn't the be-all and end-all, or Manning would have chosen the 49ers. And maybe it says he wasn't convinced he and Jim Harbaugh, a hands-on, emotion-forward guy, would be as compatible as they needed to be, no matter what each might have been assuring the other.
It says home ties and the chance to get back at the Colts weren't the priority, either, or Manning would have chosen the Titans, who were all but willing to turn over the franchise to him.
It says, finally, that Manning's personal relationship with John Elway, one Hall of Famer to another (presumptive) Hall of Famer, might have been the tipping point here. That, and the fact that the Broncos play in a division they should easily win now .... and that head coach John Fox has already shown he's willing to structure his offense around his quarterback's talents (See: Tim Tebow) .... and the fact that the Broncos have a robust running game and an up-and-coming young defense that will take some of the pressure of Manning to outscore everyone the Broncos play.
Prediction: Don't be surprised if the Broncos don't shore up their receiving corps by signing, say, Dallas Clark, perhaps, and others.