Peyton Manning (left) speaks during a press conference to announce his release from Indianapolis. The Colts decision to cut Manning could be a big gain for the Broncos. (US Presswire)

Mile High Monday: Manning is the Right Move

It’s never boring in Broncos Country and this week was no different. Denver was once again making national headlines as they made a serious run at free agent superstar quarterback Peyton Manning.

Manning became a free agent last week when he was cut by the Indianapolis Colts after 14 years. Most people, myself included, thought that Denver would not be a major player in the Manning sweepstakes. We couldn’t have been more wrong.

The Broncos not only pursued Manning, they quickly became one of his leading suitors and were the first team to get him for a recruiting visit. The Manning watch built up throughout the weekend, and last night Denver Sportscaster Vic Lombardi went so far as to tweet that the Broncos are “95% confident” they will sign Manning. Does this mean that it is a done deal? Of course not. Does it mean that excitement and debate is at an all-time high in Broncos Country? Absolutely!

Most of the controversy surrounding the possible signing of Manning centers on Tim Tebow. There isn’t a more polarizing figure in sports, so naturally any story involving him is equally polarizing. There is a hard-line contingent of Tebow supporters who want nothing more than for him to be quarterback and they are up in arms over the possibility of signing Manning. At this point, I believe that contingent of Broncos Country has lost their objectivity.

Make no mistake about it, I love Tim Tebow. If you go back and read my articles from the 2011 season, you would be hard-pressed to find someone who supported Tebow as ardently as I did. He led the Broncos to a great year and provided an excitement in Broncos Country that has been missing for a long time. Denver won the AFC West title and a playoff game for the first time since 2005, and he revitalized the organization and put them back on the league map. This is a team on the rise for the first time in several years, and most fans believe the dark days of 2010 are behind us to stay. There are a lot of people to thank for this turnaround, including John Elway, but Tebow deserves a large share of the praise.

Yet, with all that said, Denver is still a young team that has a lot of work to do if they want to contend for a championship. Moreover, a lot of that work needs to be done by Tebow himself. He has to improve measurably as a passer if he is going to take the Broncos offense to the next level. I do believe that he can be an effective quarterback in this league, but I also realize that he has a long way to go to become elite.

Many of the fanatical Tebow supporters believe that pursuing Manning is an indictment on Tebow by the organization. That couldn’t be further from the truth. It simply boils down to the fact that in the rare instance when an all-time great quarterback is available as a free agent, the Broncos have to look into it and do their due diligence. They would be doing a disservice to the fans otherwise. The main goal after all, is being the very best they can be at every single position.

The bottom line is this: Peyton Manning will make the Broncos a Super Bowl contender immediately, period. The Broncos will simply be a better team in 2012 with Manning behind center. I know he is coming off a major injury, I know he is going to be 36 years old soon, and I know there is no guarantee he can get back to 100%. However, he still makes the Denver Broncos better. In a league that is absolutely driven by the quality of your quarterback, taking this risk is worth it. Denver would automatically become the favorite in the AFC West and a Super Bowl window would open up. A legitimate Super Bowl window is priceless, and teams need to take advantage of that opportunity when it arises. It has also been reported that Manning will be willing to write his contract to help protect the team that signs him financially. He essentially comes with his own insurance policy! This will ease the risk on the Broncos and makes signing him even more worthwhile.

Speaking of finances, some critics believe that Denver should spend their money on several other marquee free agents in order to fill multiple holes rather than use it on Manning. While it’s true that a guy like Peyton Manning won’t come cheap, the Broncos are currently more than $40 million under the salary cap. So not only do they have the spending power available to outbid other suitors for Manning, but they will certainly have a pile of cash left over to go after additional free agents. And if there is one thing I know for sure, it’s that sports stars like to play together. There is no doubt in my mind that if the Broncos manage to sign Manning, Denver will automatically become THE free agent destination in the NFL. He could be the first of several impact players to head to the Rockies. Guys like Mario Williams, Dallas Clark, LaRon Landry, Reggie Wayne, and Vincent Jackson would all at least take a look at what’s going on in Denver. The possibilities are endless.

In a perfect world, Tim Tebow would stay in Denver and learn under Manning in the event he becomes a Bronco. Tim could not only work on his mechanics and skills, but he could improve mentally and get an education from one of the best to ever play the game. That essentially is what Aaron Rodgers did in Green Bay, and that seems to have worked out just fine. Unfortunately, the word from several outlets is that Tebow would not remain in Denver if Manning comes aboard. He understandably is shaken from this whole ordeal and would most likely want to move on. Denver would probably trade him for picks to help bring in more talent. This outcome would be disappointing, especially since I have cheered so hard for Tim Tebow and am grateful for his work as a Denver Bronco. Nevertheless, the only thing a sports fan can truly ask of their team is that they seriously try and win the Super Bowl, and signing Peyton Manning is an indication that the Broncos want to contend NOW. John Elway believes this move is for the best, and I for one agree with him.

Make sure to follow @MileHighMonday and @Predomorange on Twitter so we can talk Broncos football every day.


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Tags: Aaron Rodgers Dallas Clark Denver Broncos Jack Del Rio John Fox Johne Elway Laron Landry Mario Williams Peyton Manning Reggie Wayne Tim Tebow Vincent Jackson

  • MileHighMonday

    @sportsdenverCO Thanks

  • MileHighMonday

    @5280shirtshop Thanks James.

  • 5280shirtshop

    @MileHighMonday Thank you for the honest assessment and outlook. This is why we love your blog!

  • 720beauCBS

    @MileHighMonday Good article. I think that’s been rattling me Though it was ugly at times TT brought hope And on the way out deserves thanks

  • MileHighMonday

    @720beauCBS Thank you, & I agree. Tebow deserves nothing but praise and appreciation from Broncos fans if this is truly the end of the line.

  • loganberry

    I don’t want to lose Tebow! He doesn’t deserve this!

  • ChristopherKrier

     I hope he stays too.

  • DanielleMiller

    I sure hope TT isn’t really going to leave because he doesn’t deserve this at all!  I wouldn’t blame him if he did though–why should he have any trust in the organization at all after this?  I understand and agree that Peyton is a huge asset…IF he can play with the very real injury he has.  But how do you do this to a young man who brought the first glimpse of hope to a team that had none for so long? TT has a lot to work on, we all agree.  I think Elway is missing the big picture here, something that actually doesn’t surprise me as much as I thought it would.  

  • ChristopherKrier

    I hope when the dust settles Tebow and the Broncos can find some common ground. I just have a feeling that ship might have already sailed. Only time will tell. In regards to Elway, the organization is in an unimaginably better position then they were 2 years ago, and he does deserve a lot of credit for that.
    Thank you for reading and taking the time to post your thoughts. I really appreciate constructive discussion with other passionate fans. 

  • Donnie Herrmann

    Just for the record EVERY BRONCOS FAN SHOULD LIKE THIS how ever I think tebow should still be second to Manning…. I don’t trust Adam or Eric as a backup

  • Dan Dragin

    if we get manning what will the goal be win a few games just get in the playoffs then lose win a game in the playoffs then lose go to afc championship game then lose Superbowl and lose or super bowl then win. what if we fall short will manning be worth it ? i rather work on building on this team bring ina back up for tebow get tebow to step up his game or be someone elses qb or whatever and get a high draft pick qb

  • D.j. Martinez

    DISLIKE. keep Tebow & forget about Manning! Elway only thinks he knows what best. I believe he is jealous & doesn’t want Tebow around because McDaniels picked him up!! I don’t give a crap how anyone feels about this posting or my loyalty to the Broncos!!!!

  • Colleen Long

    Why would Tebow want to stay in Denver? Please. He has been effectively ‘dissed’ by Elway and Co. and Tim needs to move on to greener pastures. I just read the Pats and Jax are both interested him! GO ON TIMMY!!!

  • Chelsea Ervin

    I really hope Tebow goes somewhere else. He deserves to be supported & believed in, & thats the opposite of what Denver is giving him. They are just jealous of him.

  • Tim Contic

    lmaoo why would elway be jealous of tebow? I’d rather have a hall of fame qb than one that barely can complete a pass

  • vette2112

    i really feel like management is stabbing all of us in the back on this they let us buy the swag and buy the tickets and the jersyes but they dont realize that the fans dont love the colors they dont love the symbles they sure as hell dont love the management they follow and love the players in the uniform they are just selling out the future to get a slim chance with manning but what happens when in game two of the season a blind side hit ends this guys carrier then what we gave up a cherished player for what?

  • islandgirl0719

    I have been a Bronco fan since infancy (1965).  I have seen the Broncos rise and fall. 
    Does anybody remember how bad John Elway was his first year as a rookie quarterback in the NFL?  Apparently nobody remembers this including John Elway.  Look what happened…..Mr. Elway was allowed to develop his talent, and became a hall of famer.  Denver needs to learn to be patient.  I have seen Denver give up good quarterbacks (Maddox, Griese ring a bell) because they did not have the patience anymore to allow them to develop their talents.  Somebody else got them, and they shined in other markets.  Once again Denver is screwing over a young man with REAL potential to try and get someone who is on the downside of retirement.  I pray to God that if Denver does sign Manning, that the O line will protect him with his 4 neck surgeries this year.  It would be a crying shame if Manning got hit, left the stadium in a stretcher, and never stood up off that stretcher again.  Tim Tebow is very young, and is still healthy, and has great potential.  Maybe Denver should consider hiring Manning as a quarterback coach to give Tebow the consideration, and assistance he deserves.

  • Dee Ed

    As a Broncos fan I would be honored to have Peyton Manning as our Qb for the next 3-4 years. People say Tebow should learn under Manning. I say we should deal him to Jax or NE for a 1st or 2nd round pick. We’ve got the targets in Decker and Thomas, we have a serviceable back in McGahee, people like to say our o-line suck but how can you say that when Tebow held the ball for long periods of times and ran around. Ryan Clady is hands down the best left tackle in the league and at this point is better than Tarik Glenn. Also guys like JD walton, Zane Beadles, and Orlando Franklin are good young olinemen. The Broncos have a good defense and draft picks to fill in the gaps. If the Broncos get Manning, the AFC West title is a given, the AFC Championship game is a given. I cant say the same with Tebow there’s only so much you can do as qb when you cant really throw the ball.