Brandon Stokley was a call-in guest with NFL Network’s Rich Eisen on Wednesday, but the receiver’s free agency wasn’t the main topic of conversation.
Stokley played with Peyton Manning for four years in Indianapolis, and the pair remain good friends. Eisen asked Stokley if Manning has given any indication as to where he’ll end up.
“I don’t really like to ask him that, I try to be more of a friend,” said Stokley, 35, who had a brief stint with the Giants last season. “I know he’s getting pulled from every different direction. He’s got a lot on his mind, a lot on his plate, so as a friend, I try not to come with that direction and ask him, straight up, ‘Hey, where you think you’re going to play?’ I don’t want to be just another guy asking him that question.”
Stokley was one of the privileged few who worked out with Manning during his famous Duke University throwing session. What he saw left no doubt in his mind that Manning will still be an elite player.
“We threw for three straight days at Duke, I know he had worked out two previous days there,” Stokley said. “So, five in a row for him. To me, he looked great, he looked like he did whenever I was with him in Indy. He could make all the throws, on the run, in the pocket, deep throws, comebacks, any throw out there, he was making.
“And when he came out to Denver, we had a little throwing session on Saturday morning and he looked even better. I think he had three or four days off, dealing with all the free agency stuff, so he looked even better to me then than he did at Duke.”
Could Manning be ready if organized team activities were to begin tomorrow?
“Oh I definitely believe that,” he said. “Just seeing him work out, see him make all the throws, like I said, to me, he’ll step right in and I believe he can play in a football game tomorrow and play at a high level.”