Stealthy 49ers work out Manning

It was widely reported that the Denver Broncos flew to Durham, North Carolina to watch Peyton Manning work out.

The 49ers, on the other hand, managed to keep a tight lid on their visit last Tuesday until today.

Jim Harbaugh and Greg Roman made the trip to Duke University to watch the mega-free agent throw a football. ESPN is reporting that the 49ers coaches left the Manning workout “very impressed.”

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This is big news in 49ers land. Last week, it appeared the 49ers had no interest in Manning and were ready to re-sign Alex Smith.

Smith did a phenomenal job leading the 49ers to the NFC Championship game, but Peyton Manning is the caliber of quarterback that can bring the Lombardi trophy back to San Francisco.

Last week, I wrote that Manning would be perfect for the 49ers. He’s a proven winner and brings a level of confidence that the Niners haven’t had since the days of Joe Montana and Steve Young.

I also wrote that he’s going to command a lot more money than Smith. Details are starting to surface, but it looks like Manning is seeking a five-year, $90 million deal. About $20-30 million will be guaranteed.

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It’s a steep price to pay, but the 49ers are close to winning a Super Bowl, and Manning could be the missing piece.