Will the Denver Broncos make a run at Eli Manning this offseason?

LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 23: Quarterback Eli Manning
LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 23: Quarterback Eli Manning /

Could the Denver Broncos make a run at Eli Manning this offseason? What are the pros and cons to such a pursuit? It will be interesting to see…

Get ready for a lot of talk and speculation about the Denver Broncos and the quarterback position this offseason. Perhaps even some talk about Eli Manning and the Mile High City.

That’s right, we could be looking at the pursuit of Manning, part two in Denver, as unlikely as that may seem.

The New York Giants effectively ended their relationship with Manning unofficially this week when they decided to bench him in favor of Geno Smith and Davis Webb. Manning, understandably, was emotional about the decision after starting every game for the Giants for 14 years.

At this point in time, the Broncos seem — at best — like an underdog candidate for Manning’s services in 2018 and beyond. Manning is 36 years old, and has a connection elsewhere in the league — Tom Coughlin in Jacksonville, to be specific.

Coughlin seems to already be making inadvertent pitches to Manning:

Of course the Jaguars, an upstart team with a horrendous quarterback in Blake Bortles, would love to have someone like Manning to lead their offense, even in the twilight of his career.

The Jaguars will have plenty of cap space, and obviously the connection in the front office to land Manning this offseason. They could also justify parting with some draft picks to make a trade with the Giants.

Manning is still under contract after this season, after all.

The Jaguars can opt out of Bortles’ fifth-year rookie contract option and have more than enough cash to bring in Manning, so they are the clear favorites to get him at this point.

But what if, with all that money, the Jaguars prefer the younger option in Kirk Cousins in free agency? Cousins is likely to become the highest paid player in NFL history this offseason, considering the way things have been trending for quarterbacks signing new contracts, and the Jaguars are among the few teams — not including the Browns — that could afford to make that happen and have the need for it.

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If the Jaguars opt for Cousins, or perhaps even Alex Smith if they are trading draft assets for a veteran quarterback, the Broncos could be an option for Manning.

The Broncos are a franchise that could contend if they were to get strong play from a veteran quarterback like Manning, but is that the best long-term option for this franchise? Is it even the best short-term option?

The Broncos, in all honesty, are probably better off just drafting someone. But after watching one young quarterback struggle after another the past two years, it would be tough to blame John Elway for just wanting a quick fix at the position.

Everything will be on the table as the offseason approaches, at least from the Broncos’ perspective. If I were a betting man, I would say the odds are incredibly likely that Eli Manning doesn’t end up in Denver, but I felt the same way initially about the possibility of Peyton Manning coming to Denver as well.

With Peyton, the Miami Dolphins seemed like the no-brainer option. Manning had a home in Miami, the money would be tax-free, and it just seemed like a solid option. There was also the option for the Tennessee Titans, close to Manning’s college roots at Tennessee.

There were definitely intriguing options on paper, but Elway sold Manning on something in Denver. The Broncos are going to enter this offseason as one of the three most recent Super Bowl champions. Perhaps that will still mean something come time to pick a quarterback if this team chooses to go the veteran route.

We shall see.