Peyton Manning is a Denver Bronco
The nearly two week Peyton Manning free agency tour came to an end this morning when the veteran signal called declared he will be taking his talents to the ‘mile high city.’ Manning called Broncos vice president of football operations John Elway to tell him the news. Manning also called the 49ers and Titans to inform them of his intent to play in Denver.
Denver emerged as the front runner shortly after Manning’s March 7th release from the Colts. Miami and Arizona were the other early contenders. Tennessee and San Francisco emerged as late contenders, but many believe that Elway was the determining factor in luring Manning to Denver.
Manning and Elway have always had a great relationship, and it seems like Elway was willing to commit the most guaranteed money to a 36 year old quarterback with a surgically repaired neck.
However, there are certainly other factors in play. Denver won a weak division with Tim Tebow at quarterback. John Fox is a steady coach who will focus on the defense while Manning becomes the de facto offensive coordinator. The Broncos also have a favorable salary cap position.
Even if Manning does not deliver a Super Bowl championship in Denver, Elway, Fox, and owner Pat Bowlen were able to accomplish something else. Denver was able to bring in the one quarterback who has enough clout to end ‘Tebowmania.’
There will still be a small minority of upset Tebow fans, but the vast majority of Bronco fans were still on the fence with Tebow. It was easy to get caught up in the improbable Tebow wins, but most logical people realized it would be nearly impossible for him to sustain his success.
The question now is what will happen to Tebow? The Broncos have put him on the trading block, but how many suitors will he have. Jacksonville seems to make the most sense because that is an organization desperate for buzz and higher season ticket sales.
The problem with bringing in Tebow is that it will put undue pressure on a starter. The second the starter starts to struggle, the Tebow fervor will reignite and create the situation that finally forced Fox to start him last season.
Who knows where Tim Tebow will end up, but there is still a part of me that wants to see if he can have long term success in the NFL.