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Manning has always said he wanted to stay in the AFC, and the Broncos fit that requirement. He also reportedly felt more comfortable with Denver's front office - he has a strong rapport with John Elway and head coach John Fox is willing to hand him the keys to the offense (along with a 5-year and 90-million-dollar contract) and just...well, drive. Manning is one of the most prolific quarterbacks of recent NFL history, but certainly (and inarguably) one of the best ever. The Denver Broncos also have a young group of receivers, and there are rumors floating around about some free agents that are now visiting Denver as a result of the Peyton acquisition (there are also rumors that veteran center and former teammate of Manning, Jeff Saturday, is now visiting with the Broncos). Also worth noting, Eric Decker is about to have a monster season. I'm calling it now.
Yesterday, I was on my friend LaMar's incredible radio program, Life After the Game (listen to yesterday's show here), and talked about everything Petyon. LaMar made a great point that Peyton Manning turns his receivers into Pro Bowlers. Truth, my friend. The Broncos are now instant Super Bowl contenders (even Vegas agreed). All this Petyon chatter is great, but lest we forget the once chosen one, Tim Tebow. In my opinion (and as I said on LATG), the Broncos will trade him. Tebow just isn't the answer, and John Elway has made it well known that he isn't his biggest fan. Sure, he surprised a lot of us, including me, with his run this year, but he's not the long term answer. He needs a different role and a different offensive scheme. I think the obvious needs to be stated - Jacksonville would be a great fit for him. Yes, he'd be the hometown hero, only hours away from where he played college football at UF, but he'd put people in the seats of a stadium and franchise that desperately needs it. It's marketing brilliance. However, there are new reports of him being looked at by big time teams like the Packers and Patriots. We'll see where he lands, but it's safe to say he's out of Denver.
As a Denver native, this is exciting, and I think expectations are high for Manning - pressure can be a blessing and a curse, but I can't wait to see where this season takes the Broncos with him at the helm. Where the rest of the chips fall, especially with Tebow, remains to be seen, but you can bet it'll be a big story.