Manning: I very easily could have seen myself as a 49er

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Manning: I very easily could have seen myself as a 49er

Following his introductory press conference with the Denver Broncos, Peyton Manning spoke to the NFL Network and said he easily could have seen himself being a 49er.

On how he feels after the free agency process:

Im relieved that this part is over. Its been interesting; it has been a roller coaster going to back to the press conference in Indianapolis. I felt very fortunate that Mr. Irsay allowed he and I to have some closure, for me to have some closure with the Indianapolis Colts. Not many players get that, so I felt fortunate about that. Im tired from these visits going to see these different teams; I felt that was the only way to really do it was to get to know the people and try to get a feel for the direction of their teams and organizations. Ill tell you, I met some great people during this trip. The NFL is in great shape. There are some great owners, coaches, executives out there and this decision was hard. There was nothing that any other team did that made me not want to go there, and thats what made it so hard. The Broncos were very upfront and honest with me the entire time. Coach John Fox and John Elway answered all of my questions, gave me the direction of the future of their organization and I had to pick one. I wanted to go to all of them at one point, but like the other decisions Ive made in the past I decided to make it, not look back and to go from now and make it the right decision. I have to go to work to make it the right decision to be a Denver Bronco. I know John Elway, coach Fox and Mr. Bowlen are going to help me in that process.

On if he did not want to play for an NFC team because he didnt want to face Eli Manning in the playoffs until the Super Bowl:

Its unfair to say that because I wouldnt have had the discussions and the talks and the workout for the San Francisco 49ers if that were the case. I knew that San Francisco was in the NFC. When the two of us started to talk, I very easily could have seen myself being a 49er. Thats why it was so hard. I kept wanting for someone to just tell me where to go. The NFL Draft isnt all that bad because you just go there and there is no choice. Having it be my choice, that got harder and harder especially the more I got to know these people. Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak might be one of the greatest guys Ive met in this entire process; I loved him, I loved Jim Harbaugh and so the more I got to know them the harder it was to say no. John Elway was right: when I called him Monday morning, it had been a rough morning for me having already had to call these other two teams telling them it wasnt going to happen. That was hard for me, but obviously I was excited to be able to tell Denver I was coming here. I was glad to hear they were excited as well.

On if it weighed on him that he would have to face the Indianapolis Colts twice a year if he went to the Tennessee Titans:

The same thing: when Mike Munchak called me and said we might have an interest but we want to know if youre interested, I knew what division they were in. So I looked him in the eyes and said, Yes there is an interest; I would like to get to know you, lets talk. There is not one thing that Tennessee or San Francisco or Arizona or Miami or any of these teams did that made me not want to go play there. As a matter of fact, all they did was give me great reasons why I knew I could be happy going to play there. I wanted to go to all of them at some point. I remember this same feeling when I was in high school; I wanted to go to Ole Miss, wanted to go to Florida, wanted to go to Michigan you have to pick one. So it was difficult but I felt comfortable here in Denver. Its hard because when you say what is it about Denver, people are say thats what it wasnt about the other places. Thats just not the case. I felt very comfortable here in Denver, I like coach Fox a lot; I know hes hungry to win. Mr. Bowlen was very direct and upfront about what he wanted to do, and Im seeing John Elway in his role as an executive and he has that same competitive desire that you saw when he was a player. Im just glad to be a part of that, looking forward to getting to know my teammates and really looking forward to just getting to work.

On how difficult it was for him to see other quarterbacks on the teams that were interested in signing him being talked about as second options:

I hated that. I hated that part of it. If we could have done it all underground, if I could have snuck into the Titans complex or visited with San Francisco and nobody would have known about it, thats the way I would have preferred. As we all know, it became very public and everybody wanted to know. Thats not the way that I wanted it, but obviously I had to go play for another team. I still want to play and other teams have quarterbacks there. Thats been the worst part about this process. I know I will eventually talk to the quarterbacks of these other teams and I sure hope they dont hold it personal against me. It was the process of trying to get to know these teams and thats probably been the worst part about it. But I have great respect for Matt Hasselbeck, Jake Locker, Alex Smith and Tim Tebow all of these other quarterbacks. Its the most unique fraternity around; Im glad to be in the fraternity and hopefully that wont affect our relationships.

49ers safety Reid endorses LSU safety Adams: 'We'd have to battle it out'

49ers safety Reid endorses LSU safety Adams: 'We'd have to battle it out'

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers already have three safeties selected within the top two rounds of the draft.

But as the organization has considered its options with the No. 2 overall pick, LSU safety Jamal Adams had been in the discussion. Adams recently visited the 49ers, where he and Eric Reid had a chance to catch up with each other.

Reid’s final season at LSU was 2013. The 49ers traded up to select him with the No. 18 overall pick. The 49ers drafted Jimmie Ward at the end of the first round in 2014, and Jaquiski Tartt was a second-round pick in 2015.

In the past 25 years, only two safeties -- Eric Berry (2010) and Sean Taylor (2004) – have been selected in the top five. Both were chosen with the No. 5 overall selection. Adams has a chance to go as early as No. 2 overall.

“I’m excited to see where he ends up. He could end up here. You know what I’m saying?” Reid said on Wednesday at the 49ers’ voluntary minicamp.

“He’s the best one in the draft. Someone will be very happy to have him, I’m sure.”

Adams (5 foot 11 ¾, 214 pounds) is considered more of a box safety. He recorded five interceptions in his 36-game college career, but Reid said he believes Adams can also play free safety.

“No doubt,” Reid said. “The kid can do it all. That’s why they got him projected to go where he is. I believe he could.”

In the 49ers’ new defense, which is based on Seattle’s scheme, Ward is getting a long look at free safety in the team’s minicamp. Ward started at cornerback last season.

After recording seven interceptions in his first two seasons, Reid has one interception over the past two seasons. He played 10 games last season before sustaining a season-ending with a torn biceps.

Reid said he is learning a new position but he believes playing closer to the line of scrimmage suits him. He is set to become a free agent at the end of the season as he plays this year with a salary of $5.676 million on the fifth-year option.

“I’m used to being on the back end,” Reid said. “I’m used to dealing with a lot more space. So, really, it’s the run game. And the run fits, knowing the gap schemes, the run (stunts) and knowing where the D-linemen are going to fit and filling the holes. That’s been the biggest difference for me.

“I like it. I’m a bigger safety in this league, so I think it’ll work for me.”

And what if the 49ers select Adams on Thursday evening?

”That’ll be interesting,” Reid said. “We’d have to battle it out. We’ll see how it goes.”

Reid: National anthem protest accomplished goal of awareness

Reid: National anthem protest accomplished goal of awareness

SANTA CLARA – Safety Eric Reid and linebacker Eli Harold, who joined Colin Kaepernick in kneeling during the national anthem last season, will not continue the protest this season.

Reid said Wednesday they achieved their goal of bringing attention to racial inequality in the United States.

“When we started doing that, our goal was to open up the floor to conversation. I believe we’ve achieved that goal,” Reid said. “So now we just want to move forward and just partner with people that’s trying to make a change.

“We accomplished that goal. People talked about it. I think we raised a lot of awareness about issues in this country. And now it’s time to move on to just affecting change.”

Reid and Harold are back with the 49ers, while Kaepernick remains a free agent. The 49ers have expressed no interest in retaining Kaepernick after opting to sign free-agent quarterback Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley, instead.

“I stay in touch with him,” Reid said of Kaepernick. “I’m rooting for him. Obviously, he isn’t on a team, yet, but I’m rooting for him but hopefully he gets that call after the draft.

“It’s surprising. You see some of the other quarterbacks that have been signed around the league and why he hasn’t been, it’s just unfortunate.”

When asked if thought Kaepernick was paying the price for his protest, Reid answered, “I think so. It’s unfortunate, it’s sad. People want to shy away from him because of media, PR reasons.

“You’re doing something to better the world. I mean, the guy got a plane sent to Somalia to help with the famine there. He’s been doing things that if it were anybody else in a different situation without the anthem (protest), they’d be praising him and giving him awards for it.”