John Elway got his man. Peyton Manning will become the starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos after the final details of a deal can be ironed out. After a few weeks of soul searching, recruiting visits and workouts, it appears that Manning chose familiarity over offensive talent. His relationship with Elway and head coach John Fox propelled him to the mile high city.
It’s a surprising choice, given the other teams that were in the hunt. The 49ers are better than the Broncos at every position. They gave Manning the best chance to win Super Bowls immediately. The Titans are in his old division and have more talent than the Broncos as well. In the end, none of that mattered to Peyton.
It’s not all bad. Manning joins a team with a top 15 defense, a solid offensive line and a young receiver who is emerging as a potential star. The Broncos surely aren’t done as they will look to add additional weapons for Manning. Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark could both in the mix as the Broncos do not have an abundance of talent at the WR and TE positions. Jeff Saturday could also be added to help the offensive line learn Manning’s nuances and verbiage at the line of scrimmage.
The bottom line is if Manning is healthy the Broncos are the favourite to win the AFC West. It won’t come easy with the Chargers, Raiders and Chiefs all fielding competitive squads, but the Broncos won the division last year, and the addition of Manning is good for a few more wins in 2012.
The question now becomes what happens to Tim Tebow? In all likelihood he will be traded, but it remains to be seen what teams will have interest. It’s an extremely unfortunate situation for Tebow, but you can’t blame John Elway or the Broncos for making this move. They acquired one of the best quarterbacks of all time and anytime you have the chance to do that, you have to pull the trigger. You can bet that Manning will be fielding a lot of “Tebow” questions when he finally addresses the media. Expect him to be prepared well for this – as usual.
It will undoubtedly be a weird locker room dynamic after the team rallied around Tebow’s magic to go from 1-4 to a home playoff victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Manning understands what he is getting into and it might take all of about 30 minutes for the team to get on board with Peyton as the new captain of the ship.
It’s ok to feel bad for Tebow but we’ve seen this script before. It’s not the first time he’s been written off after proving himself. They doubted him in high school, said he couldn’t be effective in the SEC, and claimed he would have to change positions in the NFL. After he proved the doubters wrong, he was finally given an endorsement from Elway who stated Tebow would be the starter going into the 2012 season. Guess that could still happen but with another team.
Tebow’s dog is named Bronco – perhaps he changes its name to Manning and puts one of those satellite dish neck braces on him permanently. All jokes aside, maybe this will work out for the best. Assuming a team trades for him, it will indicate that they believe in him and want him to be their guy. The Broncos never did, but were forced into playing him because he won games. If we’ve learned anything from Tim over the years it’s that adversity fuels him. He’ll be back, and this time with an organization that believes in him just as much as his teammates do.