This is a historic day for the Denver Broncos. They will acquire Peyton Manning who has been arguably the NFL’s best quarterback for over a decade. Because of the significance of this, I’ve decided to ask a couple of our staff writers for their thoughts on the situation. Read their take and leave a comment below.
I think Peyton Manning signing with the Broncos is a huge win for John Elway and the rest of the front office. This move signals that the Broncos are trying to win a Super Bowl right now. Manning makes Denver an automatic favorite to win the mild AFC West and this will hopefully open up a legitimate Super Bowl window.
I would love to see Denver keep Tim Tebow and let him learn under an all-time great, but unfortunately I just don’t see that happening. If the Broncos lose a couple games early in the year, a quarterback controversy between Manning and fan-favorite Tim Tebow would be too much to handle. I think the Broncos will trade Tebow if they can find an interested trade partner.
As for their strategy during the remaining free agency period, I would like to see the Broncos add depth at wide receiver, which shouldn’t be too difficult now that Manning is on board, as well as bolster the defense. More impact players are required at all 3 levels of the defense, so every quality player they can sign will help in 2012.
I’ve been torn on this signing the entire preceding week, but it boils down to this: this is an incredibly bold move for the Denver Broncos. Peyton Manning will go down as one of the finest quarterbacks to play the game and he’s elected to finish up his career with one thing in mind: winning the Super Bowl.
I am, however, not unilaterally convinced and there are two specific reasons that force me to take pause.
Like many, Joe Montana comes to mind when I look at this situation. A face of the franchise whose injury led to his team cutting ties to develop the quarterback waiting in the wings. Between 1980 and 1990, Montana averaged nearly 3,200 yards and 22 touchdowns per season. During his two years with Kansas City, his numbers were a comparatively pedestrian average of 2,700 yards and 15 touchdowns. I wonder if Kansas City had the same “now we can finally get back to the Super Bowl” mentality in 1993, only to be met with the reality of an aging quarterback who had a hard time staying healthy. The Chiefs won two playoff games that year and haven’t won one since.
More than Manning’s health and age, my biggest concern is Manning’s contract. I wrote earlier in the month that the Broncos could learn from the Indianapolis Colts by drafting well and being savvy with contracts. Manning’s signing is the exact opposite of that end. Fast forward a few years to life after Manning. The team will be looking to start over at quarterback (even if Tim Tebow decides to stay in Denver his contract will be up) and may be in a difficult financial spot because of this deal. Do you trade a few down years for a world championship? Absolutely! But if Manning can’t lead to Broncos to that goal (and despite the excitement it is far from a sure thing), does the whole thing call in to question the team’s one-eighty on its long-term plans? Yes it does.
Manning will have higher expectations on him than any other quarterback the Broncos have lined up under center since John Elway. And while Elway himself will share in these expectations (and results), the potential that this brings to Dove Valley trumps the concerns.
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