The Dolphins will meet with Peyton Manning in the coming days, The Miami Herald has learned.
As I reported over the weekend, the meeting will be somewhat out of the box. It will not be at the team facility. It will possibly be at Sun Life Stadium, a source tells me.
[Update: ESPN is reporting this meeting will take place Monday night or Tuesday. ESPN, by the way, reported earlier today that the Dolphins were all but out of the chase for Manning and he would not be taking any more visits with any more teams. I credit them when they get things right or first. I'm going to tell you when they miss, too.]
The meeting will be led by Dolphins coach Joe Philbin. Philbin may include offensive coordinator Mike Sherman in the meeting, although that is not yet clear.
The meeting is expected to be almost 100 percent about football -- Xs and Os -- and Manning and the coach or coaches (if Sherman comes) getting to know each other. The extra-curricular stuff, such as a requisite pitch from the owner and promise of Super Bowl wins may not be part of this Miami pitch because, in part, Manning may be tired of hearing that he is the final piece that will take them to the Super Bowl.
I stress to you this isn't exactly how the Dolphins planned things originally. They planned a more elaborate set-up that would include owner Stephen Ross. It is now possible Ross will not be included in this meeting. This is Manning's preference, I'm told.
This much is also clear: This will be the Dolphins best hope of landing Manning. The team considers it a good opportunity, although I must say from the outside looking in, it doesn't seem as great an opportunity as the 6-plus hour meetings Manning took with the Arizona Cardinals and Denver Broncos.
The Dolphins had planned an elaborate meeting with Manning that, as I reported earlier, was not going to happen at the team's Davie facility. So that is not an issue at play now. The Dolphins wanted to stay out of the limelight of media coverage, anyway.
But until we know details of the length and expanse of this pitch, we won't know exactly how serious the Dolphins are in the Manning scheme of teams vying for his services.
I will say this: At least they are in the game.