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Perhaps the only major red flag surrounding the Denver Broncos' signing of prized free agent quarterback Peyton Manning involves the arm strength of the future Hall of Fame inductee. Coming off a severe neck injury that caused him to miss all of last season, Manning's velocity was said to be a work in progress at various points of check-in during his attempted return.
According to Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker, there's "no question" Manning's arm strength is good enough to play right now. Here's what he told ESPN's Colin Cowherd during a recent radio interview:
"The guy's still throwing the ball a long time, throwing it great, hitting you in the right spot," Decker told Cowherd. "He's such a perfectionist. If he hits you in the belly button, he gets mad at himself for not hitting you in the chest. It's unbelievable to be around a guy who has those standards for himself."
"He's so precise with everything he does and there's a reason for everything he does do," Decker told Cowherd. "In workouts, in the weight room -- I mean the guy's jogging from station to station. He's working like he's a 23-year-old free agent coming out of college. The way he talks about football, the way he runs drill work, routes, everything's gotta be perfect and there's no gray area. I think that, as a receiver, [is] the best thing about it. You got a leader that demands the best out of you because he gives the best he's got."
The Denver Broncos gave Peyton Manning a 5-year, $96 million deal, but they also made sure that they protected themselves should Manning under-perform or suffer another injury. According to Pro Football Talk's Joe Florio, here are the details:
... if Manning is on the Broncos’ roster on the final day of the 2012 league year, his base salaries of $20 million in 2013 and $20 million in 2014 become fully guaranteed.
In other words, the Broncos can cut Manning at any point after Super Bowl XLVII and before the last day before the start of the 2013 league year and limit the contract to a one-year, $18 million investment. And so, just as the Colts faced a $28 million decision in March 2012, the Broncos will face a $40 million decision in March of 2013.
The Broncos are on the hook for $18 million in 2012, but if Peyton Manning proves worse than expected, the team can cut him before the start of the 2013 league year (March 2013), which nullifies the rest of the contract. The Broncos again have options to cut bait after the 2014 and 2015 seasons, and those are outlined by Florio as well.
In Tuesday's introductory press conference, QB Peyton Manning made no illusions about his expectations for the Denver Broncos. Manning said, in the presser simulcast online via NBC Sports, that he did not come to the Broncos to help them rebuild:
I'm planning on playing for a long time. I realize that I don't have 14 years left by any means. At the same time this isn't something that I'm just building a foundation this year to do something in two years or three years. This is a "now" situation. We're trying to win now.
Manning missed all of the 2011 NFL season with a neck injury that eventually required a total of four surgeries. Meanwhile, the Indianapolis Colts plummeted to the bottom of the league and missed the playoffs for the first time in 9 years, and only the 2nd time since 1999.
Manning's comments confirm the suspicion that he chose the Broncos because of their perceived nearness to another playoff run.
For anyone who thinks that John Elway doesn't care about Tim Tebow's career, Tuesday's press conference should have quelled any doubts about that. Elway came off as sincere and genuinely caring about Tebow's career in the NFL; however, he did admit that trading Tebow is a possibility. Here are some quotes from Elway:
Elway: He & Fox called Tim Tebow last night. "The toughest thing about this whole thing is Tim Tebow bc of what I think about Tim Tebow." via @denver_broncos
Elway: "I would love to be able to" give Tebow a chance to start QB elsewhere. "It's our goal to get him in the best situation possible." via @MaxBroncos
Clearly, Tebow understands that Elway is making a decision for the Broncos and not one to get rid of him. It's a football move, and one that almost every team in the league would do if they were in the same position. If that is a by-product of Manning's addition, so be it. That's what we have come to expect from Tebow, always the consummate professional.
Though he may be the man pushing QB Tim Tebow back to the bench or to another team, newly-anointed Denver Broncos starting QB Peyton Manning says he is a fan of the outgoing starter. During Tuesday's press conference, simulcast online via NBC Sports, Manning expressed appreciation of the former Florida Gator:
I think [Tim Tebow's fans are] fans of his for great reasons. He's a great player and a great guy. And I think they can still be fans of his. I'm a fan of his too... I'm very respectful of what he accomplished last year.
Tebow is widely expected to become trade bait as the team does not have an intention to split playing time between the two wildly popular quarterbacks. Tebow started 11 games for the Broncos in 2011 and helped lead the team to a 7-4 record and an eventual playoff appearance.
During the conference, simulcast online by NBC Sports, Manning said his health, though not at the level he would like, has been progressing well:
The doctors and the trainers say they feel very encouraged about where I am and the progress that I've made. And I like hearing that and hopefully we can just keep on that path.
And as far as being ready for the season, it seems likely the future Hall of Famer should have no problems:
Could I play a game this Sunday? Yeah, I could. I don't know if I could play as well as I would like, but yeah, I could play... I'm not supposed to be where I want to be at this point. It is March, and I have a hard time of reminding myself of that.
Peyton Manning has been announced as the newest member of the Denver Broncos at a Tuesday press conference. Owner Pat Bowlen took to the podium first and spoke first. He said Peyton Manning gave the Broncos a chance to win another championship. John Elway then came to the podium and said that Manning has already made the team better, even though he has yet to meet all of his teammates.
Manning finally came to the podium and mentioned that he felt a sense of urgency to win a Super Bowl now since he doesn't "have 15 years of football ahead" of him. Manning also admitted that he does have plenty of work ahead of him in his rehab to get back to where he wants to be. He plans to start working on that immediately.
Stay tuned for more updates from the Peyton Manning press conference.
The Denver Post is reporting that QB Frank Tripucka will no longer be the only No. 18 quarterback in Denver Broncos history. Tripucka was the the team's very first starting quarterback, and after four seasons with the Broncos, Tripucka retired in 1963 and the team sent his No. 18 with him.
With the recent signing of Peyton Manning, however, the team and Manning have reached out to the old No. 18 to secure his blessing:
"It’s perfectly OK for him to go ahead and use it,’’ Frank Tripucka said last week from his New Jersey home. "I would be honored to have him wear it.’’
Manning reportedly spoke with Tripucka on Tuesday afternoon, and the incoming quarterback will indeed take the coveted number.
As it stands now, the Denver Broncos are really only paying Peyton Manning $18 million in 2012 on his new contract. The other $78 million depends on later physicals. Should Manning pass his March 2013 physical the $40 million dollars over the next two years becomes guaranteed, according to Andrew Brandt:
Peyton passing his March 2013 physical activates 40M guarantee, paid as 20M salary in 2013 and 2014.Can be reduced if injury to neck.— Andrew Brandt (@adbrandt) March 20, 2012
If he doesn't pass his physical, the money due to him "can be reduced," according to Branch, but there are no clues as to what that comes out to right now. But if Manning's neck holds up, the quarterback will receive $20 million in 2013 and in 2014.
This is a great contract for both sides since the risks are minimal.
Details of Peyton Manning's contract with the Denver Broncos are leaking, ending much of the speculation over how much money would be put at the front of the contract. According to Andrew Brandt, Manning will receive $58 million over the first three years of the deal:
Manning contract: 2012: 18M2013-2014: 40M w/waiver on neck2015: 19M2016: 19Mtrying to find out more on waiver— Andrew Brandt (@adbrandt) March 20, 2012
Also as expected, the contract includes safeguards for the Broncos should Manning's neck prevent him from playing. However, it appears that the waiver doesn't kick in until the second year of the deal.
The real question is whether Manning will even want to play five more seasons in the league. It might be a solid guess to say that Manning plays just three more seasons. Does he really want to linger on like Brett Favre and play until he is 40?
Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos have reached an agreement on a five-year, $96 million contract, and the team has scheduled a 1 p.m. MT press conference to make it all official, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. The entire process has been incredibly public, so this comes as no surprise, but as the contract becomes official, Tim Tebow's time in Denver might be coming to an end.
The Broncos have already been fielding calls to trade Tebow, so there is still plenty of news to come. Could the Broncos look to add Manning's former teammates Dallas Clark, Jeff Saturday and Joseph Addai via free agency as their next move? There are plenty of angles to this story that will develop over the next few days, but the biggest news on Tuesday is that Peyton Manning is now officially a member of the Denver Broncos.
The Denver Broncos have scheduled a press conference on Tuesday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. MT. This conference, as we all know by now, will be to announce that Peyton Manning is a member of the Denver Broncos -- signed, sealed, delivered.
Broncos announce a press conference for 1pm local time. Hello Peyton! Good-bye, Tebow— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 20, 2012
Manning's signing with Denver will have a ripple effect throughout the NFL. The team has already seen its 2013 Super Bowl odds shoot up to being a top-four team. But now the team becomes more attractive to free agents who have waited to sign. This group of players includes center Jeff Saturday and tight end Dallas Clark, both former teammates of Manning's in Indianapolis.
One year ago, John Elway returned to the Broncos and now a year later Elway's putting his, hopefully, crowning mark on the team.
Now that Peyton Manning has decided on the Denver Broncos, a number of additional questions have been raised. Where does Tim Tebow end up? How does Manning's decision affect personnel moves elsewhere in the NFL? Do the Denver Broncos bring in some of Manning's former teammates in Indianapolis?
In the video below, SB Nation's Dan Rubenstein and Brad Wells discuss many of these issues.
Wells believes Manning's decision to play in Denver had to do with the flexibility of head coach John Fox and offensive coordinator Mike McCoy; they made significant changes to the team's offense to fit Tim Tebow, and they'll do the same for Manning.
The Denver Broncos are starting the process to surround Peyton Manning with several of his former Indianapolis Colts teammates. Center Jeff Saturday is scheduled for a visit, but no date has been leaked yet. Former Broncos wide receiver Brandon Stokley is also likely to be back with the Broncos, according to the NFL Network's Jason La Canfora
Team Manning about to be assembled in Denver. C Jeff Saturday has a visit scheduled. WR Brandon Stokley likely to be signed #freeagency— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 19, 2012
Saturday was immediately pegged as a possible pickup for the Broncos after Manning agreed to sign with the Broncos. Dallas Clark is another former teammate who is speculated to be on the Broncos' radar.
No longer should we be making Browncos jokes from the mid-200s. Now, it is Colts West.
When the Denver Broncos signed Peyton Manning, effectively taking him away from the San Francisco 49ers and the Tennessee Titans, one of the little-heralded components of the negotiation was the effective tax rate, which can significantly affect the take-home pay for professional athletes. According to the Director of Octagon Financial Services, Manning acquired a tax rate comparable to that of his former employer, the Indianapolis Colts, when he signed with the Broncos on Monday:
Manning decided to sign with the Denver Broncos on Monday morning after playing 15 years with the Colts. Manning's contract with the Broncos is expected to be worth somewhere between $90 and $95 million.
The free agent signings will start to fall into place for the Denver Broncos once Peyton Manning signs. Former Indianapolis Colts center Jeff Saturday is already speculated as a pickup for the Broncos, and now it seems another former Colts player is in the team's plans:
Expect the Broncos to sign TE Dallas Clark— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) March 19, 2012
Adding former Colts teammates to whichever team Manning signed with has long been speculated, and the Broncos could use a tight end with Daniel Fells no longer with the team and the other options being either young players looking to make a name for themselves or lacking the ability to be a pass-catcher like Clark.
The Broncos, depending on how much money is loaded in the front of Manning's contract, should have plenty of money to bring in more talent this offseason.
The Tennessee Titans may have missed out on signing QB Peyton Manning, but they were gracious in defeat. In a statement released on the Titans' homepage, owner K.S. "Bud" Adams, Jr., thanked Manning and the Titans organization for the roles they played in the negotiation process:
I want to thank the whole organization for their efforts in trying to sign Peyton and also to Peyton for the time he put into the process. Peyton called me this morning to inform me of his decision and obviously I am disappointed, because I thought we would be a perfect fit.
Now that we move forward, I want our fans to know that our expectations haven’t changed – winning a championship is still the goal. I like our quarterback situation moving forward and we will continue to build the team through free agency and the draft with that goal in mind.I also want to commend Matt Hasselbeck and Jake Locker. They were thrown into a very difficult situation. Matt was very good for us last year; and at some point, we expect Jake to be our future franchise quarterback.
As if things couldn't get more awkward for Denver Broncos QB Tim Tebow, he'll now have to read his teammates lavishing praise on new Broncos QB Peyton Manning in the press. The latest to do so is LB/DE Von Miller, who gave Tebow the requisite lip service before expressing his excitement over being Manning's teammate:
"I love Tim Tebow on and off the field - he is a great teammate," Miller told [ESPN's Josina] Anderson. "But we can learn a lot more from Peyton Manning because he's been to Super Bowls, he's a four-time MVP."
(via Pro Football Talk)
Of course, there's nothing malicious about Miller's statement, but Tebow will have to get used his teammates (or soon to be ex-teammates) saying that they're happy to have a different quarterback under center than the one who just lead them to a thrilling playoff victory.
How long will it take for the Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning to reach a contract agreement? Probably not that long if 9News' Susie Wargin is correct. She reports that a press conference announcing the signing will take place on Tuesday:
All reports appear to indicate that nothing should hold up this contract, making it a mere formality. Manning is expected to get some sort of deal around five years and $95 million, but much of that contract is likely to come in the first couple of years.
Will Manning's neck hold up after sitting out the entire 2011 season?
According to a report delivered by ESPN's Adam Schefter on SportsCenter, the Denver Broncos— with Peyton Manning now in the bag— will explore acquiring ex-Indianapolis Colts center Jeff Saturday. Saturday was not re-signed by Indianapolis as the team decided to purge itself of many of the stalwarts of the Manning era, and there was a belief that the 36-year-old was just going to retire.
Up until last season, Saturday had never snapped the ball to another starting quarterback besides Manning, and with Peyton's future now settled, Saturday may now have an interest in signing with the Broncos. Manning likewise has spent nearly the entirety of his career receiving the ball from Saturday, so it wouldn't be a surprise if he reached out to a player that could be called something like Manning's security blanket.
Peyton Manning will sign with the Denver Broncos after a whirlwind week of rampant speculation fueled by anyone and everyone. After it was leaked two weeks ago that Manning would be released (it came a day later on Wednesday), the speculation on where he would land heated up. In the end, it wound up being the first team he visited: the Broncos.
From @mortreport and me: Peyton Manning will become the next quarterback of the Denver Broncos, barring unexpected snag in contract talks.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 19, 2012
The terms of his deal are not yet known, but both sides are believed to be working off the parameters of Manning's five-year, $90 million deal he signed last July, the one that he signed and then never played a down of football after for the Indianapolis Colts.
So, with Manning in the fold, we now wait for Tim Tebow's future to unfold -- likely elsewhere.
After a weekend of no news on Peyton Manning, we still have no real news on Peyton Manning this Monday morning. Well, that actually depends on what you believe. The Denver Broncos are supposedly out of the hunt for Manning, according to the Examiner's Tennessee Titans writer:
According to league, and other sources the Denver Broncos, once thought to be the leading candidate has been eliminated, leaving the San Francisco 49ers to wait with the new favorite Tennessee Titans.
Aside from the poor grammar at the start of the sentence, there is no real way to verify this report, just as we have been unable to do with so many other reports about Peyton Manning over the last week-plus.
The Denver Post's Mike Klis refutes that in a tweet by writing that the Broncos haven't been told that, but that could just be spin he's receiving from the team. Rampant, unnamed sources continue to dominate the Peyton Manning Sweepstakes.
It was reported this weekend that prized free agent quarterback Peyton Manning is set to decide where he'll sign on Monday or Tuesday. The Denver Broncos remain in contention for the 36-year old future Hall of Famer's services, as do the Tennessee Titans and San Francisco 49ers. If the Broncos end up missing out on Manning, some are speculating that Denver GM John Elway will continue to pursue other quarterbacks rather than give the starting nod back to Tim Tebow before training camp begins.
Today at the Denver Post, Mike Klis wonders if Alex Smith or Matt Hasselbeck would be good options for Elway and the Broncos. Klis also points out that Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden could be an option in the draft because he's perceived as the most 'NFL-ready' quarterback outside of the sure-fire first two selections, Stanford's Andrew Luck and Baylor Robert Griffin III.
With Peyton Manning still a couple of days away from deciding his future team, there's little in the way of real news about which team he will wind up with to finish out his career. But on Saturday, the Tennessee Titans became the third, and we believe final, team to have a workout with the quarterback. Titans general manager Ruston Webster spoke about the event:
"This morning we traveled to Knoxville and had a workout with Peyton. I thought he looked comfortable throwing the ball and we had a good visit. This is another important step in the process."
If that sounds familiar, it's because it echoes some of the same things Denver Broncos executive John Elway said about his team's visit with Manning. "Process." This is probably the last of the Peyton Manning news we'll have until he signs. Or someone rumor-mongers to make "news."
According to NFL Network's Albert Breer, free agent quarterback Peyton Manning has told teams that he will make a decision by Monday or Tuesday regarding which team he will presumably spend the rest of his career with.
Per league sources, Peyton Manning has informed clubs that he plans on making a final decision on his future on Monday or Tuesday. ...— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 17, 2012
An earlier version of this entry originally used a tweet from the Chronicle's sports Twitter account with the following report:
Elway, Fox, Manning and Co are leaving now. Manning did not throw a pass today. Odd development
However, the Denver Broncos' own John Elway tweeted just minutes later:
We enjoyed visiting with Peyton today in N.C. He threw the ball great and looked very comfortable out there. Watching him throw today was the next step in this important process for our team and Peyton. It was a productive visit and went well.
Obviously there was a breakdown in correctly sourcing the original report, and, as we've learned over the last week with everything concerning Peyton Manning, there's a lot of speculation going on around these day. That is included here on our part, as well.
The Chronicle is now trying to explain its reporting:
Elway just tweeted that he enjoyed watching Peyton throw today, but it's unclear when/for how long that happened, appeared they spent their time away from both the indoor/outdoor practice facilities, unless he threw briefly at the very beginning of the visit
In the end, we really don't know anything about what is going unless those directly involved talk and are on the record.
According to Kent Somers of The Arizona Republic, the Arizona Cardinals will be re-signing starting quarterback Kevin Kolb -- potentially and presumably removing them from the chase to acquire QB Peyton Manning:
As Arizona folks have been saying, Cardinals will keep Kolb who is due roster bonus of $7m. they will pursue restructure to decrease cap #.— Kent Somers (@kentsomers) March 16, 2012
The Cardinals got only 9 starts out of Kolb in 2011 as he missed much of the year with injuries (turf toe and a concussion). In his time between injuries, Kolb managed to sport a 57.7 completion percentage and an 81.1 QB passer rating.
The Denver Broncos, the Tennessee Titans or the San Francisco 49ers are going to wind up spending more money than originally thought on Peyton Manning if the Denver Post's Mike Klis is correct in what he now has as a revised contract figure:
My previously reported contract parameters for P. Manning were too low. Broncos, Titans, 49ers working off his old five-year, $90 mil deal— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) March 16, 2012
His deal called for him to make _ gulp! _ $61.4 mil over 2 yrs; $69 mil over 3 yrs. Broncos understand the parameters. They're in.— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) March 16, 2012
Klis originally reported that the Broncos and other teams were working on a five-year, $60 million contract for Manning, but now indications are that teams will need to work on the mega-contract Manning signed with the Colts last year -- the one he signed last summer and then never took a snap after, the one that led to his release earlier in the month.
Are we looking at fool's gold here?
The San Francisco 49ers have emerged late as the "mystery team" pursuing free agent quarterback Peyton Manning. The team had been whispered as a team early during this whole process, but apparently it's been much more than that lately:
Filed to ESPN: Third team in Manning race that has emerged is49ers - Manning worked out for Harbaugh &took physical this week #NFL32— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) March 16, 2012
According to Adam Schefter on SportsCenter, Manning had a workout at Duke for the 49ers on Tuesday and then took a physical on Wednesday. However, Manning has not visited San Francisco's facilities.
Manning to the 49ers remains a long shot, but the team has an opening at the position since Alex Smith has not reached a new deal with the club. The 49ers provide the best chance for Manning to win a Super Bowl, especially with a defense, one of the best in 2011, returns all 11 starters.
An NFL source said Manning and his camp have narrowed their choices to the Broncos and Tennessee Titans. The parameters of the deal, according to the source, that both teams are working off: $60 million total, give or take, and a $30 million guarantee, give or take, spread over five years.
On Friday afternoon, a contingency of Broncos executives, including John Elway, flew to Raleigh, North Carolina, to observe Manning during a scheduled workout. The Broncos hope to sign Manning and are expected to find a trade partner for incumbent QB Tim Tebow, whose reported trade stock is rather low.
Is the Peyton Manning Free Agent Courtship about to end with the quarterback signing a contract with the Denver Broncos? Just as we learned one week ago about a plane registered to Broncos owner Pat Bowlen going to Miami to pick up Manning, it appears that same plan is now heading to Durham, N.C., where Manning has been working out recently:
A plane is flying to Durham from Denver. Peyton Manning is in Durham. Broncos coming from Denver.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 16, 2012
It appears that this is a visit to see Manning, who is at Duke University, to throw the ball:
Is this just a formality for the Broncos before they get Manning signature on a contract? It could be a very good day in Colorado later on Friday.
The Zone in Nashville reporting Peyton Manning working on financial deal with Titans.— justinjoseph (@justinjoseph) March 15, 2012
As of Thursday evening, The Zone (a sports talk radio station) appears to be the only outlet reporting this particular tidbit, and this may be no different than the news that the Broncos and Manning have been talking contract.
According to various reports, the Titans are one of two finalists for Manning's services -- along with the Denver Broncos, of course.
Tim Tebow's trade value likely took another hit following the Jacksonville Jaguars' signing of Chad Henne. ESPN's John Clayton says that it "kills" any chance of the two teams making a deal -- well, that is if Peyton Manning signs and the team does elect to move Tebow:
The Chad Henne signing in Jacksonville kills any potential Tim Tebow to Jax trade if the Broncos sign Peyton Manning— John Clayton (@ClaytonESPN) March 15, 2012
Sports Illustrated's Peter King already believes Tebow's trade value is no more than a fourth-round draft pick, just two years after he went No. 25 overall. The Jaguars' new owner is a big fan of Tebow's, but general manager Gene Smith doesn't want Tebow, making a trade unlikely even with this signing of Chad Henne.
But is a Tim Tebow trade inevitable? Tebow seems like he'd be the guy who'd say, "I'll do what you want me to. I can wait out my time, but I'll help this team in any way." Now, if a trade is the best way for that to happen, then that's it. But if all the team can get is a late-round draft pick, why not keep him?
Peyton Manning's free agency is winding down -- we think. It shouldn't be too long, but it does appear that the Denver Broncos and the Tennessee Titans are the two finalists who will wait for the Final Decision, according to Adam Schefter:
ESPN's Adam Schefter on Peyton Manning: "It does look like the 2 finalists are Tennessee & Denver. They appear to have the best chances."— Evan Silva (@evansilva) March 15, 2012
Of course, so many other teams have been bandied about as a top finalist over the last few days. The Broncos have always been listed among the final finalists while the Titans are the newest team to appear. The Titans are at this point now likely as a result of Manning supposedly being offered a post-retirement role with the team, which John Elway wouldn't hand out. The Broncos might not be able to offer something as good.
While there is still no decision from Peyton Manning on which team he will join, are the Denver Broncos the team in the best position to sign him? Mile High Sports' Brandon Spano can't definitively say that, but he apparently has confirmed that the Broncos are in deep contract talks with the quarterback:
Just got confirmation that the Broncos are still in contract talks with Peyton Manning's camp today and are much further along.— Brandon Spano Show (@BrandonSpano) March 14, 2012
Of course, Spano reported last week that the Kansas City Chiefs had offered a contract to Manning already. Yet, Manning is a free agent and the Chiefs receive nary a mention lately. Of course, the Chiefs could certainly have offered that and Manning and agent Tom Condon could have said no. Who knows?
Just more of the circus surrounding Peyton Manning these days.
While we wait for Peyton Manning to take his time and decide where he will likely play out his final years in the NFL, Tim Tebow lurks quietly in the shadows and waits for his future, be it with the Broncos in a different capacity or with a new team. But don't expect the Broncos to receive a nice haul if they trade Tebow, at least that's what Sports Illustrated's Peter King believes:
I wouldn't be surprised if the most Denver could get for Tebow is a fourth-round pick. I know the fans in Jacksonville want him, but I can't see GM Gene Smith brining him in to muddle the quarterback situation with a guy they're trying to salvage, Blaine Gabbert, who'd be in an unwinnable situation with the fans. It'd take a strong coach -- Bill Belichick, John Harbaugh, Pete Carroll -- not worried about the public pressure to play him to take Tebow on, in my opinion. I could see Belichick or Harbaugh making him a wild card type of player, playing 15 snaps a game all over the offense.
That's quite a drop in value for a player who went No. 25 overall just two years ago. Now, it is debatable whether any other team would have drafted Tebow in the first round back then, but if this is Tebow's value at his highest, a fourth-round pick, his future is likely to be as King suggests: a wild card type player.
According to Denver Post reporter Mike Klis, free agent quarterback Peyton Manning has narrowed his list of destinations to four, and the Denver Broncos are in his top two right now.
According to multiple NFL sources, Manning has the Broncos among his top two choices. He likes that coach John Fox will give him carte blanche of the offense and he believes Colorado would give him a quality of life for his wife Ashley and twins, who will turn 1 on March 31.
The Peyton Manning saga continues with no resolution, and the free agent quarterback is expected to meet with the Tennessee Titans in the near future, according to Denver sports radio host Brandon Spano. The two sides are going to meet in Indiana rather than North Carolina, apparently.
Clarification. Manning is NOT visiting with Titans in NC, just like I reported earlier, but they will visit him in Indiana on Weds.— Brandon Spano Show (@BrandonSpano) March 13, 2012
The Broncos reportedly have had some contract discussions with Manning's agent.
In the latest round of non-Peyton Manning news, Peyton Manning will not be a member of the Houston Texans, despite plenty of reports that the team would make a run at him. That's what ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting:
Despite speculation that Houston still could make a run at Peyton Manning, the Texans have no plans to pursue the free-agent QB.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 13, 2012
So, basically, this doesn't alter the calculus of anything here with Manning since we won't have a late run by a third team such as the Texans. Maybe there will be a mystery team, but at this point it really does seem to be the Broncos ahead of the Cardinals in pursuit of Manning.
Or not. We'll know when the ink is dry on the contract Manning signs.
Free agent quarterback Peyton Manning is still deciding what team he'd like to join for the next NFL season, and the Miami Dolphins, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Tennessee Titans, Houston Texans and Denver Broncos are all aggressively pursuing his services. According to Mike Klis of The Denver Post, Manning's agent (Tom Condon) and the Broncos engaged in preliminary contract discussions on Monday. This qualifies as an update because the organization and the future Hall of Famer had avoided any contract talks during his visit over the weekend, so any such dialogue registers as another important step in an extremely protracted and overly public process.
The Tennessee Titans have emerged as a late challenger after signing former Colts front office executive Dennis Polian and playing up Peyton's University of Tennessee ties through owner Bud Adams, but the Broncos are still considered a favorite to win the big free agency prize of the 2012 offseason.
What would the Peyton Manning free-agent saga be without yet another semi-intriguing twist and turn? The latest batch of rumor mill fodder comes from Michael Lombardi of NFL Network, who is reporting that the Tennessee Titans are preparing for a Peyton Manning visit on either Tuesday or Wednesday. This comes in the wake of news that the Titans signed former Indianapolis Colts director of football administration Dennis Polian as their new assistant to head coach Mike Munchak. Dennis is the son of former Colts President Bill Polian and brother to former GM Chris Polian, so the move comes with obvious ties to Peyton Manning and his former team.
Even more telling information about the Titans' intentions towards Manning comes from a story written by Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean. In that piece, team owner Bud Adams expresses his interest in pursuing the future Hall of Famer in no uncertain terms:
"He is the man I want. Period," Adams told the newspaper. "And the people that work for me understand that. They know who I want. I want Mr. Manning with the Titans and I will be disappointed if it doesn't happen. I hope to be one of the teams he looks at," Adams said. "Since he went to school in Tennessee I think Tennessee is where he should be. I think he could play for two or three years. I think he's the guy that could come in and turn this around for us."
The linkage from the Polians to his collegiate career at the University of Tennessee provides a multitude of selling points for Adams, but it still comes down to the right fit. Are the Denver Broncos a more complete team at the moment? Does Peyton Manning think his best chance at winning now is with Teneesee or Denver? A lot will be revealed in the next few days...hopefully.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter (via Pro Football Talk), free agent Peyton Manning is done taking visits to NFL teams. Schefter reported this morning on SportsCenter that Manning doesn't want the process of his choosing a new team to turn into a "Reggie White tour," and so it is expected that the Denver Broncos and Arizona Cardinals will be the only teams given the opportunity to host him.
The Denver Broncos might be creeping closer to picking up free agent quarterback Peyton Manning, if the portents are being read correctly. Manning has reportedly cut the Kansas City Chiefs and the Seattle Seahawks from his potential destinations, leaving the Denver Broncos and the Arizona Cardinals as the two main options, reports the Denver Post's Mike Klis.
Definitely read Klis' article for some good reporting on what happened over the weekend. Mostly, what we can take away outside of whom Manning eliminated is that Manning is close to a decision, but we won't know until Tuesday or Wednesday. Free agency begins on Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. MT.
If Manning does choose to sign with the Broncos, we should start looking for a potential Tim Tebow trade -- since that's all everyone is speculating will happen. The high drama will continue into Monday.
The Denver Broncos and the Arizona Cardinals are the leaders in pursuit of signing free agent quarterback Peyton Manning, according to Adam Schefter's sources. But, of course, we don't know that for sure. Schefter's sources believe Manning's gut is leaning toward Denver right now, as indicated by his visit there first before heading down south to meet with the Arizona Cardinals.
Apparently the Seattle Seahawks are also attempting to have a meeting with Manning, but so far the team has been rebuffed, which tells us what Manning thinks of the situation in the Pacific Northwest. But will Manning open that search? He might not if he really does want to make a decision on Tuesday.
And should that decision be to sign with the Broncos, we know that will increase the amount of speculation of a Tim Tebow trade, something that has began in earnest.
But, as we've learned with a number of free agents across all sports over the last year, the mystery team has often won out with a player.
Tim Tebow swept the nation by storm in the 2011 season, but if Peyton Manning decides to play for the Denver Broncos, Tebow will be wearing a different uniform in 2012, according to a report by Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio. Yes, Florio's source indicates that John Elway, John Fox and the rest of the Denver brain trust has decided to trade Tebow if the Broncos are able to land Manning.
The Denver Broncos must now wait and see what happens elsewhere with Peyton Manning. The quarterback stayed overnight Friday into Saturday in Denver, but there were plenty of mixed reports throughout the day on where he was in the state. Was he at Dove Valley? Was he at the Colorado Avalanche game? Was he heading back to Miami? As it turned out, Manning did head south to visit the Arizona Cardinals. But beyond that, there isn't much else known.
Is Manning's departure without a contract from Denver a poor sign of things to come? Will Manning decide that he wants to visit teams other than the Broncos and the Cardinals? The Miami Dolphins and the Kansas City Chiefs are certainly two teams that would like Manning's services. And, well, hey, even Washington Redskisn owner Dan Snyder is attempting to be Dan Snyder after acquiring the No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Let's also keep in mind that the team that signs Manning most likely will need to bring in one or two of his former Indianapolis Colts teammates. Imagine adding receiver Reggie Wayne and tight end Dallas Clark to an offense that has Demaryius Thomas. It would be a new triple threat for the Broncos to work with, but familiar for Manning.
While there has been quite a bit of buzz about Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos over the past 36 hours, there was never any indication that Manning was planning to make a final decision. According to Jay Glazer, Manning isn't ready to make a choice about which team he will play for and will make a trip to Arizona to meet with the Cardinals tonight:
@jayglazer: Peyton Manning free agent tour is scheduled for its next stop as Cards sources say he's set to fly to AZ to meet w Coach Wisenhunt 2nite
@jayglazer: Don't read into him leaving Denver without a deal. He never wanted to just take one visit & sign. Cards up next. Still gonna b fast process
The Cardinals are one of a handful of teams that have been linked to Manning since he was released by the Colts. However, all indications are that Manning will be thorough in evaluating all of his options before making any sort of decision on his future.
Amid rampant speculation that future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning may sign with the Denver Broncos as a free agent, incumbent Denver starter Tim Tebow isn't speaking to the media like originally planned at an appearance in Tampa Bay this weekend. Tebow is in Tampa to, what else, raise money for wounded war veterans, but with all the hoopla surrounding Manning in Denver, Tebow apparently realizes that no one will be asking him about injured soldiers.
According to a recent post up at Pro Football Weekly, Tebow is not happy about Manning potentially taking his job, especially not after GM John Elway and head coach John Fox said after the season Tebow would enter training camp as the starter at quarterback:
Nicole Darin, sports anchor at WTSP-TV, reports that Tebow is rattled by Manning’s visit with the Broncos and refused to speak with the media as originally promised.
While Denver is abuzz with the possibility of bringing in free agent quarterback Peyton Manning, let's not forget that he is 36 years old and recovering from a neck injury. He is working to get his arm strength back, but reports on that have been mixed over the last couple of months. Apparently, Manning is progressing steadily, but he still has a long way to go, according to Yahoo! Sports' Jason Cole.
Cole's unnamed sources are not medical practitioners and are hesitant to say when Manning will be ready to go, but at least one would be hesitant to throw a ton of money at Manning. Cole goes on to write:
The question for all teams will be whether Manning throws for them (at least one team appears ready to sign him without having him throw) and how effectively he throws.
Could this team be the Denver Broncos? Manning already visited on Friday and then stayed overnight to have another, shorter meeting with the team. If the Broncos are that team, then we really will know that owner Pat Bowlen opened the team's coffers to sign Manning. And if the Broncos are "desperate" to sign Manning, as SI's Peter King has written, the team might do it without seeing him throw.
After a wild day for the Denver Broncos, here is what we know as of Saturday morning: the team had three players suspended for substance abuse violations and Peyton Manning-mania has engulfed the city. Manning flew into Denver with John Elway and company on Friday and was treated to a tour of the facilities and talks with the Broncos' organization at Dove Valley for over six hours. He is still in Denver on Saturday morning:
Yes, Peyton staying overnight. But no plans yet for tomorrow.— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) March 10, 2012
However, it appears Manning might just be having another short meeting with the Broncos in the morning before departing for other visits:
Manning wants to see what else is out there. He will go to Arizona tomorrow after short get together with Broncos in morning.— gary miller (@thegarymiller) March 10, 2012
There are so many Peyton Manning rumors flying around that we're sure to have an even more hectic day on Saturday. What will the Cardinals offer him that the Broncos can't?
The first stop on the Peyton Manning Free Agency Frenzy begins with the Denver Broncos, which started on Friday afternoon. But it will continue on with the Arizona Cardinals and the Miami Dolphins. There may be a fourth team eventually, possibly the Kansas City Chiefs, but we only know the reported meetings with three teams so far. We certainly should expect Broncos owner Pat Bowlen to spend the money to get Manning to come to the Mile High City, reports the Denver Post.
The Broncos have nearly $50 million in cap space, which is only part of the answer. Bowlen will also have the cash on hand to make sure that they make this a fight with other teams for Manning's services. The Post's sources claim this is a "whatever it takes" situation, but, well, that opens a whole lot of things if Manning doesn't win up in Denver.
Manning is currently in Denver.
With on Friday, two more teams will meet with the 36-year-old free agent before the end of the weekend. set to meet with the According to Woody Page and Mike Klis from the Denver Post:
One NFL source said Manning will also visit the Arizona Cardinals and Miami Dolphins after visiting with the Broncos. A source said Manning would like to make a decision by Tuesday, the first day of free agency.
With Manning looking to sign with a team fast as possible, the pressure will be on Broncos owner Pat Bowlen, cive president of Football Operations John Elway, and Head Coach John Fox. The Broncos got ahead of the game by setting up the first meeting with Manning, and will try to set the bar high before he meets with the Cardinals and the Dolphins.
An aircraft enthusiasts have linked to Denver's Pat Bowlen traveled Thursday from Denver to Stillwater, Okla., site of the Oklahoma State pro day. The Broncos' John Elway and other NFL talent evaluators were expected to attend that workout.
Here's where things get interesting. That same plane left Stillwater for Miami at 7:01 a.m. ET on Friday. The plane spent 72 minutes on the ground before heading back to Stillwater, where it was scheduled to land at 2:11 p.m. ET.
Combine this with Mike Klis' report over at the Denver Post that Manning is meeting with the team on Friday, we can connect the dots and assume that the plane picked up Manning in MIami, is picking up Elway from Stillwatter and then will return to Denver for some serious discussions about the two sides coming to an agreement.
March Madness is in full swing, and it has nothing to do with college basketball. The Indianapolis Colts cut quarterback Peyton Manning on Wednesday, and the 35-year old is already drawing tons of interest from a slew of teams. One of those teams is the Denver Broncos, led by its GM John Elway.
According to SI's Peter King, the Broncos would love to add Manning.
Denver wants Manning "desperately,'' one competitor for Peyton tells me.— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) March 9, 2012
Given the constant swirl of attention surrounding current Denver quarterback Tim Tebow, this is unquestionably the juiciest landing spot for Manning. Tebow led Denver on playoff push after taking over as the starting QB last season, but he certainly doesn't have the resume of Manning. No one does.
It was reported yesterday that Manning prefers staying in the AFC.
The Kansas City Chiefs were the only team to offer a completed contract to free agent quarterback Peyton Manning on Thursday, according to Denver radio host Brandon Spano. Spano's source says that Kansas City appears to be the most prepared of the teams interested in Manning's services.
Following his recent release from the Indianapolis Colts, rumors tied Manning to the Denver Broncos, who could potentially be looking for an upgrade to incumbent starting quarterback Tim Tebow. Numerous other teams were also named as possibilities, many of which don't have an option that's as established and loved by the fanbase as the former Florida Gator is in Mile High.
Last season, the Chiefs used Matt Cassel at quarterback before injuries broke down the team's QB depth chart. If Kansas City can gets its hands on Manning, expect Cassel to be on his way out.
Free Agent quarterback Peyton Manning is considering all of his options at the moment, but a report from ESPN's Adam Schefter says the Denver Broncos have contacted Manning's representatives and that the future Hall Of Famer prefers to stay in the AFC. Twelve teams in total are rumored to be interested, and organizations that have reportedly reached out include three NFC teams (the Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks and Washington Redskins) and four AFC teams -- the Miami Dolphins, Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos and New York Jets.
Mark Cannizzaro of the New York Post suggested earlier this week that Manning might also prefer warmer destinations over cold-weather cities like Denver, so the mix of speculation on grows more complicated with each passing day. There is also talk that Tim Tebow would be traded if Manning makes his way to Denver, so the ripple effect of this pursuit by the Broncos could have a big impact on the future of the franchise.
The Peyton Manning rumor mill is gaining steam around the nation, and especially among those who cover the Denver Broncos. The Broncos appear to be more than just a team with a passing interest, as reports continue to feed into a Broncos buzz for Manning. And where does this leave Tim Tebow if the Broncos do get Peyton Manning. Vic Lombardi thinks he has the information on what will happen:
Lastly, if the Broncos do indeed win the Manning sweepstakes, Tim Tebow will be traded. I'm told there's no way they will co-exist.— Vic Lombardi (@VicLombardi) March 8, 2012
Because, for the second year in a row, the team will have nabbed the starting spot from Tebow right out in front of him before the start of training camp.
Look, there's nothing wrong with pursuing Peyton Manning. It is a win now move, but are the second- and third-order effects being taken into account here? If Tebow is traded and Manning winds up getting injured again, the team really would be in a worse-off place. We need to believe that John Elway, John Fox and Brian Xanders are weighing all the variables and making contingency plans (though none would ever be put into perfection).
The Denver Broncos may have done more than just talk to Peyton Manning's agent. Pro Football Talk reports that according to NFL sources, Denver is positioning itself to make a big push for the now free agent Hall-of-Famer.
Mike Klis of the Denver Post reported earlier on Wednesday that the Broncos had called Manning's agent Tom Condon to guage the quarterback's interest in the team. The call wasn't considered an outward advance, however, after all the team made the playoffs under Tim Tebow this past season. The Pro Football Talk report indicates that there may have been more to the call, though everything up to this point should be classified as speculation.
What happens to Tebow if Manning joins the Broncos remains the biggest question surrounding a hypothetical deal. Tebow could simply take a back seat, or Denver might opt to use his size and athleticism in some other role.
The Denver Broncos will enter the wild derby that will become the Peyton Manning sweepstakes, according to Mike Klis of the Denver Post. This comes just one day after Klis believed the Broncos would not be a bidder for Manning's services.
But before we start labeling the Broncos as a real player for the quarterback, Klis writes that the team is merely calling Manning's agent, Tom Condon, to gauge his client's interest in Denver. Klis then breaks down the reasons why the team might not do it, ones we've mentioned here already: Manning's neck issues, his age, Tim Tebow.
Bringing in Manning isn't a bad idea, but the team sure does need to have a plan in case the worst-case scenario happens: Manning's neck isn't healed and he can't play. How many seasons are the Broncos going to alienate Tim Tebow as the supposed starter for the team?
With the impending release of long-time Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, the sports world has begun to speculate on his next landing spot -- and by the sounds of it, the Denver Broncos should be one of his top choices.
In Alex Marvez's latest ruminations on FOX Sports, he suggests Denver has the cap space, but not necessarily the right fit:
Pros: Manning would love working with head coach John Fox and Elway, who is entering his second year as Denver’s executive vice president. ...
Cons: The Broncos want to push Tebow with a veteran but probably not with someone who casts such a large shadow as Manning. The $20 million-plus Denver is expected to have in salary-cap space has spurred some of the public Manning conversation. It’s assuredly wishful thinking. Elway should know the team must dedicate the available cap room to upgrading the defense, especially at defensive tackle and the secondary.
Marvez ranks Denver as the 7th best of the 7 possible locations Manning would go, but Bomani Jones of SB Nation NFL thinks Denver would welcome with, well, open arms:
Pros: No general manager will give him a bigger hug if he joins the team. It won't even be close.
Cons: Only team in the NFL that performs better without quarterbacks who put up points and hit receivers in stride.
The Colts are expected to officially announce their decision to cut Peyton Manning Wednesday afternoon.
Peyton Manning is expected to be released on Wednesday once the team officially declines to pay him his $28 million roster bonus that was included as part of a $90 million deal he signed last offseason. This is expected to set off a furious courting ritual for a number of teams in the league. Just don't expect the Denver Broncos to be one of those teams, according to the Denver Post's Mike Klis.
Obviously, we don't know that they won't bid, but why wouldn't John Elway be interested. Manning would certainly be a quarterback that Elway, John Fox and Brian Xanders would like: Manning is a proven quarterback who has the leadership skills and physical characteristics of a prototypical quarterback. But the injury risk combined with the presence of Tim Tebow would make it a rather difficult situation to spin.
We should also acknowledge that Manning is likely to bring either Reggie Wayne or Pierre Garcon with him wherever he signs. The Broncos certainly have the cap space to bring in Manning and one of his receivers, but the potential for bad contracts to hang on the books makes that a risky move.
So, as Klis writes, Manning's free agency process will determine where other quarterbacks sign, including the Broncos' future backup for Tebow. And then Mike Shanahan's Washington Redskins or the Miami Dolphins or half a dozen other teams can roll the dice on Manning.
The Indianapolis Colts have decided that quarterback Peyton Manning will no longer be a member of the organization and will released on Wednesday, declining his $28 million roster bonus. ESPN's Chris Mortensen had the original report:
Colts and Manning will part ways, per team sources #NFL32— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) March 6, 2012
This is, as we have known for a couple of months now, a wholly expected move given the concern over Manning's injured but repaired neck. He will now be, perhaps, the biggest free agent in the NFL ever. There are plenty of teams that will be interested in him: the Seattle Seahawks, the New York Jets, the Arizona Cardinals and the Washington Redskins have all been linked to Manning.
As for the AFC West, the Kansas City Chiefs remain a potential landing spot since Matt Cassel has been a disappoint in his three years there. And, of course, the Denver Broncos will certainly enter the conversation, though whether they will really be players is up for considerable debate. Tim Tebow is the starter entering training camp, but would John Elway really want to screw around and potentially set back the team if Manning isn't fully healthy?
At best, let's put the Broncos in the intrigued but unlikely category for Manning.
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