Peyton Manning a future Bronco? And is that a pig I see flying?

Categories: Sports

peyton manning wiki.jpg
Peyton Manning.
Yesterday's formal parting of Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts unleashed a barrage of speculation about where the QB -- an all-time great, albeit one whose future is uncertain as he continues to recover from a neck injury -- might land. And while Denver wasn't thought to be a possible destination, it's suddenly become part of the discussion, even though the odds of him coming here are smaller than the total number of Tim Tebow's sins.

The person most responsible for the conversation was ESPN's Adam Schefter, who tweeted the following:

The result was a sports-talk-radio explosion of Manning-mania in these parts. Yesterday afternoon on 104.3 The Fan, ex-Bronco Alfred Williams practically went off the rails with delight at the prospect of Peyton in orange, exulting against the backdrop of celebratory party music. And at 102.3 The Ticket, host Charles Johnson, of CU Buffs fame, argued passionately that the Broncos have a great case to make in terms of convincing PM to head to the Mile High City. He later tweeted the following:

There's more than a little irony in the fact that Schefter's tweet set off such a frenzy. He'd previously argued that the Broncos had no real chance to be a player in the Peyton sweepstakes -- at least not compared to frontrunners like Miami (where Manning has a home), Washington (Mike Shanahan would kill to have talent like him behind center), the New York Jets (he and brother Eli would rule that town!), Cleveland (question marks abound about Colt McCoy), Arizona (another warm weather city that might appeal to an aging hurler), Seattle (Marshawn Lynch would provide a stout running game) and more.

Granted, it makes sense that the Broncos would have a level of interest in Manning. As The Ticket implied in its poll question for listeners yesterday, he might be the only person capable of supplanting Tebow as starting quarterback that all but the most rabid supporters of The Chosen One would not only accept but embrace. Moreover, Manning is secure enough not to be bothered by the knowledge that Timmy is waiting in the wings.

Yet Peyton is clearly interested in winning another Super Bowl during the years he has remaining in his NFL career, and the Broncos have holes aplenty to fill.

Would I like to see a healthy Peyton Manning playing for the Broncos? Hell yeah. But would I bet even a nickel on that actually happening? Hell no.

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I hope he retires.

Jim Brown, Barry Sanders and John Elway all went out on their own terms, and I'd like to see this guy do the same.

I think he's been MVP 4 times.

That's jaw dropping, and how he should, in my opinion, frame the argument as to how we remember him.

Joe Namath, Johnny U., Joe Montana, and so many guys scuffed up the varnish by maybe hanging on too long, but that's just an opinion.

I do believe the neck's a risk. so if he does play again, a really good offensive line, a smart offensive co ordinator, and some great ends are going to have to be in place.

However he chooses, he's a sure bet first ballot guy and top five at his position.


I think this would be a great spot for Manning... Not that he'll listen.

We definitely have the cap space (unlike say, the Texans) and have a great, young offensive line, a pro bowl running back, great receivers (I may be biased, but I think we have an awesome set of receivers if only we had someone that could throw them the ball - ditto with the (receiving) tight ends), a defense that may not be the most consistent, but DID send four guys to the Pro Bowl (tied for the most in the NFL) and will only get better with a QB that doesn't constantly leave them on the field for the first 3.75 quarters...  We've got one of Peyton's heroes as his potential boss in Elway, and did I mention we're in the AFC West, where 8 games takes it?

I think the Broncos (with a Hall of Fame QB) could find enough defensive pieces through the draft and free agency (easier to recruit with Peyton here, imo) that would make them contenders.  Winning the AFC West for the next three years would damn near be a given (an important part of our case) and in the playoffs, anything goes.

That said, Peyton is not going to want any part of the circus that will follow him here with Tebow in the wings (or off the team), and despite this being easily the best fit divisional situation for him, he probably wants little to do with an outdoor, cold weather environment in his waning years. I can dream of seeing some crazy offensive scheme with Peyton and Tebow both in the backfield (why not have a QB/FB that can [sort of] pass?), but I'll refrain from holding my breath...

Jon S
Jon S

It would not cost any players or draft picks to sign Manning. He was cut by his former team, and therefore is free to sign with anyone, and the Colts get nothing in return. The only cost is money. I would agree Denver is not the most likley spot for Peyton to land, but I hope they make a serious run at him.


You're definitely right about some QB's hanging on too long... however Peyton's only 35.  Age-wise he's got several more great years in him (though the neck is anyone's guess), and Lord knows the guy is dying for another ring or three.  Someone of Peyton's legendary skills and competitveness can't even imagine retiring at 35 with only one ring.

As much as I hate to use Favre as an example (REALLY hate it), the guy had the best season of his Hall of Fame career in his forties - his second year after leaving Green Bay - and came within one bad play of making another Super Bowl...

I don't want Peyton to hang on another 7 years... but if his neck is healthy, I say go for it for another three at least.

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Very interesting post, Lunkwill -- one we're going to make an upcoming Comment of the Day. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


One thing's for sure, at Indianapolis Manning was a player that usually, obviously not always, but usually had his team ahead late and thus made his defense more effective because of it.

He was absolutely terrific the last time I saw him here in person, on an awful, snowy night in 2002. Denver played well, and Steve Beuerlein had one of his better games here, but Manning was just too efficient.

On a rare night he had to come from behind, he did.

That was the night the "liquored up kicker", as poor Vanderjagt came to be called, hit a 54 yarder to go to OT, and a 51 yarder to win the snow, the wind swirling, about 25 degrees out there.

But it was Manning that was the story. He had those great feet, he delivered fastballs in tiny windows, always seemed to know who wasn't solved, and was a step ahead of the defense all night.

Lunkwill, I guess I don't agree with you on him playing again, as he's been out over a year, he's dealing with a neck issue that, not to be overly dramatic, but could be about paralysis, and nothing ever stays the same. For him to be great, it's going to have to be a combination of lots of talent around him, no established quarterback in place, and a lot going right early.

That's not to say I wouldn't be fascinated if he lands somewhere.


Thanks - I shouldn't have posted it though.  I've set myself up for a great disappointment by daring to imagine the idea of Peyton Manning back there carving up defenses with Tebow playing the Wildcat QB/FB/TE ... you know it has Super Bowl all over it...  SOMEBODY PLEASE SELL THAT TO PEYTON MANNING IMMEDIATELY.

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