In what seems to be one of the most unique two-week stretches in NFL history, future Hall of Famer and four-time MVP, Peyton Manning, has signed with the Denver Broncos. The move comes just a week after Manning was cut by the Indianapolis Colts.
The Broncos and Manning wrapped up the deal yesterday, agreeing on a five-year, $96 million contract. The contract does have a few conditions, all based around the superstar's health. The star quarterback will be forced to take physical before the 2013 season in order to lock him in for 2013 and 2014.
Other teams that pursued Manning were the Titans, 49'ers, and Cardinals. Some think that Manning chose the Broncos over the other teams, not for talent, but because of his relationship with Broncos vice president of football operations, John Elway.
Maybe Manning chose the Broncos because of Denver's air. It has been proven that footballs travels farther in Denver because of the air in such high altitude. Critics have been complaining about Manning's arm strength, so a little gust of wind could help him complete long throws down the field. On the other hand, Manning will be playing outside in cold weather, after spending his whole career in domes.
Manning is used to playing alongside pro-bowl wide receivers like Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne, but his newest targets will be Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker. Along with Manning in the backfield will be running back Willis McGahee. Not the most dangerous offense in the league, but Manning is known for giving wide receivers names, like Austin Collie and Pierre Garcon. If anyone can turn Thomas and Decker into pro-bowlers, it's Peyton.
Now that the Broncos have found their starting quarterback for the next five years (pending health), what do they do with that other guy who went 7-4 as a starter last season?
Yes, I'm talking about Tim Tebow.
It looks like the two teams that could land Tebow are the New York Jets and the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jets actually completed a trade for Tebow earlier today, but it was nullified due to complications in the contract. Although the Jets and Jags seem to be the two biggest suitors for Tebow, the Patriots, Packers, and Dolphins could all make surprise offers.
As we know, the AFC West is a toss up every year (that's why they call it the Wild Wild West). The Chiefs have had a pretty good offseason and could compete at full strength next year. The Raiders were a win away from making their first playoff appearance in ten years, and let's not forget the San Diego Chargers, who seem to be the favorite every year out of the AFC West. The Broncos will head into the season as the frontrunners, but anything can happen out West.
Only time will tell though. Did Denver make the right move by bringing in Manning and kicking out Tebow, or will karma come back to haunt the Broncos?