michael-garcia - March 20, 2012
Peyton Manning will sign with the Denver Broncos, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
This news ends the speculation over one of the biggest free agent signing in recent memory. It also means the Broncos will start looking to trade away Tim Tebow, sources are telling ESPN. Barring any unexpected snag in negotiations, Manning will be starting fro the Broncos in September.
Manning and Broncos VP John Elway reportedly discussed a five year deal worth $95 million during their visit last week, with provisions protecting the team in case Manning's neck, which has been operated on four times, prevents him from playing. Manning passed a physical for the team, and the reports are that getting the contract done is merely a formality at this point.
Manning joins a team that got trounced in the second round of last year's playoffs after a somewhat magical season with Tebow running the show. Bronco fans had rallied behind Tebow, who just kept finding ways to win, and were loyal to no end. The Broncos' faithful defended Tebow from any criticism.
Manning should make them forget about all that pretty quickly. Manning will give the Broncos their best shot to get back in the Super Bowl since Elway led them to back-to-back Lombardi trophies in 1998 and 1999.
With Manning picking the Broncos, now the rest of the QB dominoes will start to fall. Alex Smith could re-sign with the 49ers, or he might bolt for Miami. Will Jacksonville make a run to get Tebow, after drafting and starting Blaine Gabbert? The QB carousel is just getting warmed up.