Peyton Manning reportedly chooses Broncos, Tim Tebow to be traded

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Manning 2012?
Update: Just over an hour after our post, on view below, about rumors that Peyton Manning was leaning toward playing for the Tennessee Titans next season comes very different news.

ESPN is reporting that Manning has chosen to sign with the Denver Broncos next season.

Here's the Twitter string from ESPN's Adam Schefter. First, this:

That was followed by this tweet about Tim Tebow's fate:

Additional details:

Plus stuff about the contest's losers:

First take: This is an extremely exciting day for Broncos Nation as a whole. Not that there aren't risks involved in throwing a truckload of cash at Manning, who's coming off a neck injury that kept him sidelined for an entire season, or mixed feelings in regard to Tebow, who made Denver the talk of the NFL thanks to the inexplicable victories he helped manufacture. But for now, cherish the moment -- and then check out the speculation below to see what a difference an hour or two can make.

Peyton v. Tim.
Original post, 8:30 a.m. March 19: Another week, another boatload of questions prompted by the Peyton Manning sweepstakes. While Manning hasn't given any public hint about which way he's leaning, the grapevine suggests Tennessee is in the driver's seat. If the Titans win his services, what's that mean for the Broncos and their relationship with Tim Tebow?

Also-rans in the Manning pursuit are risking repercussions of the sort that may or may not impact the San Francisco 49ers. When it became known that the team's braintrust worked out Peyton early last week, before either the Broncos or the Titans got the chance to do likewise, reports about unhappiness from the camp of current SF starting quarterback Alex Smith began to surface. And then, over the weekend, came this tweet from ESPN's Adam Schefter:

Schefter followed with more info:

Note that the 49ers came mighty close to reaching the Super Bowl last season with Smith at the helm. If the squad winds up losing him and not getting Manning, the result could be a step backward for a franchise on the rise, as well as the most overt mishandling of a QB situation since the Josh McDaniels-Jay Cutler disaster.

Tebow, too, can choose to look at the Broncos' desire for Manning as disrespect toward his abilities, particularly in light of the key role he played in leading Denver to the playoffs last season. But thus far, he's remained publicly circumspect rather than talking about his interest in playing elsewhere.

Of course, his options are much more limited than Smith's. Jacksonville seemed like the squad most likely to welcome Tebow should Denver choose to cut him free -- at least until the Jags inked Chad Henne, which pretty much eliminated a potential roster spot for The Chosen One. Since then, no other outfit has given the slightest indication they'd want Timmy, suggesting that most NFL experts continue to see the miracle wins he generated last season as flukes rather than evidence that he's capable of becoming a star signal-caller over the long haul.

Given this scenario, Tebow may wind up staying in Denver whether Manning comes to Colorado or not -- and Sports Illustrated's Peter King thinks that could wind up being a good thing for all involved. "I'd love to see him be the jack-of-all-trades runner-receiver-very occasional thrower who'd keep defenses honest," he writes about a Manning-led Broncos offense.

King acknowledges that this opinion isn't widely held. "If Manning picks Denver, I'd be the only person alive who'd think Denver shouldn't trade Tebow," he maintains. Would John Elway, who seems to be driving the Broncos' football operations these days, "dump him for, say, a fifth-round pick?" he wonders. His answer -- probably, although King would hold out for a third-rounder or higher.

If, on the other hand, Manning returns to his old stamping ground of Tennessee, Tebow would be in the same position as before -- the starting quarterback going into training camp, but with no guarantee thereafter. Still, the Broncos' would face massive public outcry should he be supplanted by, say, Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden or anyone else wearing a number other than fifteen. And considering team execs' apparent eagerness to get out from under Tebow-mania, they may determine that the only way they can move forward is without him. The PR hit would be huge in the short term, but even that might be preferable to dragging out the situation.

Such a controversial move could be avoided if Manning brings his aerial circus to Denver. Even Tebow lovers would have to admit that if he's healthy, Peyton is an all-time great. As such, Elway and company are currently in the position of hoping and praying that the current rumors are wrong.

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More from our Sports archive: "Peyton Manning's plane parked in Taylor Swift's hangar: Sounds dirty!"

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19 comments
Hpnotiq90
Hpnotiq90

Its fuuny to read others post Lunkwill has no clue of what was going on in the locker room. He has no clue of what stress was put on the defense to play the way they did last year. As a former player high school,college, CFL,Arena football. You hate games like that as a defensive player. it is very stressful and painful to play that way every week. Tim is a good football player ( QUATERBACK) NO. He may find a job in the NFL as a H-Back type player. The kid works hard and you cant take that away form him. The best move right now is to trade or release him so the crazy Denver fans cant chant his name if Manning throws an interception but has three touchdowns passes. I am from Birmingham,Alabama born and raised but I live here in Denver. I am a 49er's fan faithfully and a lil upset that Manning didnt pick us. I love and I am a fan of the game that gave me so much in life. Friends, travel, adventures and a career as a Youth Treatment Counselor. With that being said I am happy for the city I live in ,maybe Denver will meet the 49er's in the supper bowl this year.

UknowWho
UknowWho

Manning or no Manning it was worth $95 million to get rid of Tebow. - John Elway

Revee
Revee

Age 36...even if he was healthy, which he's not, Manning at best has 3-4 years left.  With 4 neck surgeries he's one good sack away from total disability.  Is that worth 95 million?  If the Colts put him out to pasture I think Elway just bought a pig-in-a-polk......and a very old, slow, and lame one at that.  He's peaked.....he's done.....stick a fork in him.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Thank GOD that pious asswipe Tebow and his sycophantic supporters will be soon GONE!

Eric
Eric

Should the Broncos not land Manning, which I don't think they will, Tebow goes back to his role as the Broncos starting quarterback going into the first snap of the first practice at the first mini camp.

It's up to Tebow to get better, improve his game, show a commitment to taking the steps required to be a competent quarterback for a franchise that owes him nothing more than they owe anybody else on that roster.

If Tebow's an adult, this won't matter.

lunkwill
lunkwill

The stress put on the defense? From what? Tebow's 2 less points per game? How about the stress on the offense, trying to win games despite having a defense ranked dead last in the league in 2010?  Would you say our defense was therefore the locker room cancer?

In our losses under Tebow, our defense managed to give up more than 35 POINTS PER GAME. Not Tebow, our defense. You think Orton's 2 more points a game would have solved that? It didn't matter how many points Tebow would have put up, our defense opened like a floodgate. And not from "being out there all the time" as misinformed people keep jabbering on about. Our time of possession was far greater than our opponents under Tebow.  Kyle Orton, meanwhile, managed give our opponents the ball more than 6 MINUTES MORE PER GAME.  Shouldn't Orton have therefore been the defense's "cancer"?

You can say what you want about Tebow's play at QB, but at the end of the day, the kid's 13 starts in the 2011 season managed to include a winning record on a losing team (with a division championship no less), a 2:1 TD to INT ratio while running (record breakingly) wild over defenses, one of the best 4th quarter ratings of anybody ever, the biggest comeback in NFL history, a game with the highest overall QB rating of any QB in the entire 2011 season, and a perfect 4-0 overtime record while giving his heart and soul to wildly inspire everyone around him on their way to torching the best defense in the NFL to advance to the second round of the playoffs. ... Thus concluding a FAR better first 16 starts than .. *ahem* Peyton Manning or John Elway.  The downside?  He hangs onto the ball too long and throws, on average, one less completed pass per ten throws than most QBs. Oh yeah, and people get pissed that he prays.

Were it not for Tebow's "cancerous presence", the Broncos would have finished somewhere around 4-12 again, definitely dead last in the AFC West (as opposed to AFC West champions), the fan base would have checked out, and obviously Peyton Manning would have given zero consideration to coming to the Broncos. ...turns out the "cancerous" Tim Tebow probably just rescued our franchise. Maybe you all can show him some respect on his way out.

Your Attorney
Your Attorney

...assuming that OTHER Manning doesn't get in the way, again.  LOL

lunkwill
lunkwill

Manning had nerve issues that appear to have been successfully corrected, not blunt-force neck trauma that have rendered him crippled or lame. He's no more at risk for a neck injury than any other QB.  He's just spent a year resting his body after throwing for 4,700 yards and 33 touchdowns in his last season.  Prior to that he'd never missed a game, and has averaged less than one sack a game for more than eight years, so his body isn't exactly beat up. He's still two years younger than Elway was when he won two Super Bowls, and about 5 years younger than Brett Favre was when he took the Vikings to the NFC championship.  I suspect Peyton's still got some life to him...

Eric
Eric

So much for Manning not picking Denver.

Now, it's imperative to move Tebow quickly.

The Tebow presence would be as big a cancer in the locker room as it was last year. The zealots would billboard Manning, boo him every practice, advocate for the young religious zealot, and make things absolutely untenable for the team.

Time to go.

Eric
Eric

No problem there.................

He's a good kid, but a good kid that can't play quarterback.

And you make several good points.

But the "eye test" just doesn't pass him. You can't run the single wing for any kind of a sustained amount of time, and he just doesn't have the ability to throw the ball so necessary in that league. No matter how much a guy throws practice balls, if he wasn't born with the "radar" to make the throws, the gun to put balls in a tiny window, he's not going to play quarterback in that league. 3rd and 9, 3rd and 8 and 3rd and throw in general just killed him last year. Eventually defenses pinch him left, take away the sidelines, and make him throw down field.

New England's 3-4 and 5-3 looks killed him in Foxborough. And the reckless way he plays assures him a short lived career.

No stage is too big for this very like able kid, and he seems classy and composed. Nobody tries harder, and he's a gifted leader. Any one that doesn't see that is blind.

But he can't play quarterback. Elway knows it. Manning is a brilliant move and a move only Elway was big enough to make happen.

And yes, it's the right thing to do, a tip of the cap on the way out for Tim Tebow.

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

That seems to be the Broncos' plan, Eric. Whether any other team will cooperate is another question. Thanks for the post.

eCurmudgeon
eCurmudgeon

 Unfortunately, in order to trade Tebow, you need to have a counterparty. So, the Broncos release Tebow, eat the financial loss and move on.

While Tebow's NFL career may be over, I would imagine he's got a rather lucrative future as a "motivational" speaker...

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Strong take, Lunkwill. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

lunkwill
lunkwill

We all know that it takes more than one position out of the twenty-two+ on the field to win a game. You're not delivering breaking news, dude. The QB usually gets the good (or bad) credit as the leader of the team, but if defenses didn't make plays all game long, we would give up a hundred and eighty points a game, and lose accordingly.  We also know that good or bad "luck" happens in games all the time, whether it's Marion Barber running out of bounds, a good/bad ref call, or the ball bouncing to New England on 3 straight fumbles in our territory.  The trick is to take advantage of the good luck, and figure out how to absorb the bad luck. An AFC West Championship says we did that pretty well.

For you to randomly cherry pick a couple 'Tebow-less' plays that seem important to you from a couple games that we won and use that as evidence that Tebow was not important to our victories is both semantic and asinine.  Tebow also didn't allow the Chargers to move into field goal range where a block was necessary; he also didn't allow the Bears to move down field to the point where Marion Barber COULD stay in bounds and run out the clock;  he also didn't recover the onside kick against the Dolphins... but he DID use that opportunity to lead the team down the field for another touchdown, run in the two point conversion, and then lead them back down for a winning field goal in overtime.  You see?

Your lawyer tricks don't work here... you can't have it both ways.  If you say Tebow was not responsible for us winning because it was luck and good defense, then you are also saying he was not responsible for our losses - that was just bad luck and bad defense.

Your Attorney
Your Attorney

"Kickin arse" as in Marion Barber's inexplicable going out of bounds and stopping the clock, the blocked field goal in OT against the Chargers?  Guess what?  T-Bonehead had NOTHING to do with either of those.  Most of the Broncos wins during the season were the result of good defense or just pure luck.  

lunkwill
lunkwill

Then ditto for "sideshows", "distractions" and "headaches" kicking ass if they lead us to AFC West championships and 2nd round playoff berths...

eCurmudgeon
eCurmudgeon

 Ok then... While "cancer" might be a bit much, how about "distraction"? "Sideshow"? "Headache"?

lunkwill
lunkwill

Tebow's NFL career over? You've been smoking ALPO, dude.  Tebow is a freak athlete with enormous NFL talent in everything but short to midrange passing accuracy. Some team's gonna put Tebow to good use, I promise you that.  And yes, he'll earn a shitload as a motivational speaker too.

Also, to Eric - what locker room "cancer" are you referring to? I was under the impression that "cancer" meant a negative presence that decreased a football team's ability to perform. But the "cancer" you're referring to turned a 1-4 team into AFC West champions, guided them the 2nd round of the playoffs - much further than anyone imagined possible - while managing to bring a listless and disillusioned Denver fan base to total hysteria, making 2011 one of the most exciting non-Super Bowl seasons (definitely the most exciting 8-8 season) in Broncos history.  If that's a "cancerous presence", then cancer kicks ass.

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