It’s not a done deal, but the Denver Broncos may have just hit the quarterback jackpot. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter are reporting that four-time MVP Peyton Manning has chosen the Mile High City as the setting for the second phase of a career rivaled by few others.
Manning has reportedly chosen Denver over a roster of programs—the San Francisco 49ers, the Miami Dolphins, the Tennessee Titans, and the Arizona Cardinals—that would have happily burned their playbooks to bring in the 35-year-old field general. Apparently, though, Manning was impressed with the Broncos’ vice president of football operations—a man named John Elway.
Bringing Manning to Denver changes a few things. OK, one big thing: the need for Tim Tebow. Sources say that if a contract can be struck between the Broncos and Manning, the team will look to trade Tebow, who took the team to the playoffs last season in a Tugly fashion, but breathed life into an organization that sorely needed it.
Of course, Manning—if the neck injury that ended his career with the Indianapolis Colts doesn’t cause further problems—can do a few things that Tebow can’t. Like hit a receiver on a short route, read a defense, and avoid the rush. (According to ESPN, Tim Tebow was sacked 24 times on 293 dropbacks in 2011 while Peyton Manning was sacked 21 times on 1,399 dropbacks since 2008.) If Manning does sign with the Broncos, the deal would be a giant coup for Elway (pictured). Not only would it give him a free pass on 86-ing a hugely popular young quarterback who likely doesn’t have the mechanics to make it in the NFL, but Elway would also bring in a man who lifted the lowly Colts to eight division championships, three AFC Championship game appearances, two conference titles, and a Super Bowl championship. That’s not a bad resume.
The details have yet to be worked out, but if all goes according to Elway’s plan, Manning could be tossing it around here in Denver by mid-April. What do you think Denver?