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Nick Saban's meeting with Peyton Manning at Alabama possibly violated CBA

Nick Saban (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Nick Saban and Peyton Manning are looking to rebound from painful season-ending losses. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Two prolific winners coming off tough losses decided to meet for two days last week, as Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning — along with Denver offensive coordinator Adam Gase — visited Nick Saban at Alabama, according to Alex Scarborough of ESPN.com.

But because the Broncos have yet to start their unofficial offseason program, Manning is not permitted to participate in "group or individual meetings with coaches" under the NFL's collective bargaining agreement.

The league is reportedly looking into the situation, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told Pro Football Talk Friday morning.

While the details of the meeting weren't clear, Saban said the visit was mutually beneficial and came about because Manning and Gase were "making some visits" and wanted to stop in Tuscaloosa.

"A lot of people would say, 'Wow, the guy is one of the best, if not the best, from a career standpoint and about as good as anyone has been in the history of the league,'" Saban said. "After all the experience and knowledge that he has, he's going out to try and seek more knowledge and understanding of the game of football so he can play better.

"Peyton Manning has been a friend and very well respected for a long time, ever since I coached in the league," Saban added. "We played them when he was at Indianapolis and I was in Miami. His dad [Archie] has been a really good friend of mine for a long, long, long time."

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Saban likely soaked up Manning's knowledge of the no-huddle offense, a scheme Alabama has struggled against in recent years, including giving up a record 628 yards in a win over Texas A&M last season.

"Since they're a no-huddle team, we had a lot of questions for them, in terms of what gives them problems and what defensive teams do that give them problems," Saban said. "That was a mutual benefit. I know it was a benefit to us. I hope it was a benefit to them as well."

The 38-year-old Manning threw a record 55 touchdown passes last year but lost in the Super Bowl to the Seahawks. Manning played collegiately at Tennessee, an SEC rival of Alabama.

Saban, 62, has won three national championships with the Crimson Tide, but his team lost to Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl in January, culminating in the Tide's first two-loss season since 2010.

Gase, 36, worked under Saban at Michigan State and LSU.

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