Peyton Manning was interviewed by Bay Area reporters over a conference call Wednesday afternoon. Here’s what Manning said about almost becoming a 49er in 2012.
Q: A couple years ago, the 49ers made your list of finalists for where you were going to seek your next employment. What about the 49ers initially attracted you to them?
MANNING: “Certainly, it’s an outstanding organization. I enjoyed getting to spend time with Coach Harbaugh and Coach Roman and Trent Baalke. You can tell why they win. They’ve got great leadership in those areas. Obviously, it was different, something I’ve never been through before. You’re trying figure out a place to go to work. You’re looking for a job. It was definitely uncharted territory for me. Obviously, there’s a reason they’ve been such a successful team. Not only do they have great players, but they have great leadership.”
Q: Where did you meet Trent Baalke?
MANNING: “I had some conversations with him on the phone. “
Q: What ultimately…
MANNING: “This is three years. Check some old quotes or something. That’s a long time ago when you’re playing these guys on a Sunday night. Seems like a long time ago.”
Q: Old quote – Jim Harbaugh said he never pursued you. He was merely evaluating you. Do you have any comment on that?
MANNING: “Yeah, I think that was all part of the process. I’m probably the wrong guy to ask how those things are supposed to work. Talk to a guy who has been a free agent multiple times. I don’t know how different teams do it. It was a new process for me. I enjoyed the time that I spent with the 49ers’ personnel, the coach, the general manager. Met with the doctor. I don’t know what the verb is or if it really matters. They’re a first class organization and there’s a reason they’ve been so successful.