2014 DRAFT GUIDE
AP Source: Manning to Broncos deal is done

By ARNIE STAPLETON - AP Pro Football Writer
    2012-03-20 11:56

DENVER (AP) - The big deal is done. Peyton Manning is a Denver Bronco.

A person familiar with negotiations says that Manning and the Broncos completed his five-year contract worth about $96 million on Tuesday morning.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because Manning is to be introduced at a news conference at Broncos headquarters later.

The agreement ends a wild chase for perhaps the most valued free agent in the history of the NFL, a quarterback who has won an unprecedented four league MVP awards and took the Indianapolis Colts to a Super Bowl victory in 2007.

It also represents a huge coup for Broncos executive and Hall of Fame QB John Elway, and could spell the end of the Denver career of Tim Tebow, last year's quarterbacking sensation.

Turns out Tebowmania may have just been a fad in the Mile High City.

ESPN and the NFL Network first reported on the completion of the Manning deal.

Manning called Elway on Monday and told him that he had chosen Denver over the Tennessee Titans and San Francisco 49ers, his other final picks. The Broncos and Manning's agent then hashed out the contract details.

``I congratulate Peyton as he heads to a tremendous organization in the Denver Broncos. We wish him nothing but the best as he continues his Hall of Fame career,'' Colts owner Jim Irsay said Tuesday.

With the 35-year-old Manning recovering from a string of neck surgeries, Irsay released him two weeks ago rather than pay a $28 million bonus.

But plenty of teams still believed Manning can still be the kind of leader who guided Indy to 12 wins a season from 2001-10.

Elway and company beat them all out. The man who led the Broncos to two Super Bowl titles in the late 1990s, and now serves as Denver's vice president of football operations, Elway never sounded all that convinced Tebow was the answer at the league's most important position. He could now trade the hugely popular quarterback, who energized the Broncos in a run to the playoffs last season but also was plagued by erratic play.

If so, expect the Broncos and Denver to be more upbeat about getting Manning than downcast over potentially losing Tebow.

``There's a lot to be excited about,'' Broncos defensive end Robert Ayers said Monday when asked about Manning. ``Just being on his team is going to make you want to play better.''

Although no starting QB has ever earned a Super Bowl ring for two different teams, every day at the Broncos' headquarters, Manning will at least see the two Lombardi Trophies in the lobby that Elway won - when he was 37 and 38.

Several Broncos predicted the free agency floodgates will swing wide open once Manning officially joins the team.

``I think we'll sign some guys, probably a few guys, like Dallas Clark, Jeff Saturday, guys waiting to see what Peyton was going to do,'' Ayers said. ``Defensive guys want to play with a lead, and I'm pretty sure guys are going to assume Peyton will put up points in this offense, we have some weapons.''

With Manning joining the Broncos, oddsmakers in Las Vegas immediately made Denver one of the top choices to win the Super Bowl next season, which will be played in Manning's hometown of New Orleans.

While Manning has undeniably stellar statistics - he has thrown for more than 50,000 yards passing, nearly 400 touchdowns and has 11 Pro Bowl selections to his credit - the first question for the Broncos will be whether he can perform at the same level.

The neck surgeries forced him to miss all of the 2011, even as he was the highest-paid QB in the game, and several teams that courted him wanted to see him throw. Denver was among them.

Last week, Manning worked out for Elway, coach John Fox and others in North Carolina at Duke's athletic facilities. Elway said afterward that Manning ``looked comfortable'' throwing the ball.

The other issue is what to do about Tebow, who has three years left on his contract.

Tebow took over a 1-4 team from Kyle Orton last year and led the Broncos to an 8-8 finish and the AFC West crown with a series of stirring comebacks that captured the attention of the football world.

Tebowmania reached its apex in the playoffs, when he threw an 80-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas on the very first play of overtime to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers. The next week, though, Tebow was smothered by the New England Patriots, who easily eliminated the Broncos, 45-10.

Afterward, Elway declared Tebow was the Broncos' starting quarterback heading into training camp this summer but said the southpaw would have to improve his flawed mechanics and footwork to win the job heading into the season.

He also said he'd spent time tutoring Tebow himself and would add more quarterback competition through the draft and free agency.

Did he ever.

Tuesday's deal allows Manning to stay in the AFC, a conference he knows well and one considered weaker than the NFC at the moment, and re-establishes the chance he'll play his brother, New York Giants quarterback Eli, in a Super Bowl.

They already have three titles in the family - Eli with two. Now the older brother has another good chance to even the score.

---

AP Sports Writer Pat Graham contributed to this report.

---

Follow AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton on Facebook and http://twitter.com/arniestapleton

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

T Y HiltonDec 19 11:52a

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) is not participating in the portion of practice open to the media Friday, Dec. 19.

Julio JonesDec 19 11:22a

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hip) is not participating in portion of practice open to the media Friday, Dec. 19.

DeMarco MurrayDec 19 10:52a

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand) is likely to play in Week 16, according to a source. Murray has a high threshold for pain, and according to the source, [ More ]

Eddie LacyDec 19 10:12a

Green Bay Packers RB Eddie Lacy (eye) said he wasn't able to read a teammate's nameplate a few feet away in the locker room Thursday, Dec. 18. Lacy said [ More ]

Leon WashingtonDec 18 11:32p

Tennessee Titans RB Leon Washington caught a team-high seven passes for 62 yards and a touchdown in the team's 21-13 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars Thursday, Dec. 18. He [ More ]

Philip RiversDec 18 11:22p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers (back) looked good throwing the ball in the practice Thursday, Dec. 18, according to head coach Mike McCoy. 'Philip had an outstanding day,' [ More ]

Peyton ManningDec 18 07:22p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (thigh, illness) said his illness is behind him, and he was receiving treatment for his thigh Thursday, Dec. 18. Head coach John Fox called Manning day-to-day.

Roy MillerDec 18 07:12p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have declared DL Andre Branch, CB Jeremy Harris, SS Matt Daniels, DL Roy Miller, CB Teddy Williams, WR Tommy Streeter, OG Tyler Shatley inactive for Week 16.

Tommy StreeterDec 18 07:12p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have declared DL Andre Branch, CB Jeremy Harris, SS Matt Daniels, DL Roy Miller, CB Teddy Williams, WR Tommy Streeter, OG Tyler Shatley inactive for Week 16.

Kendall WrightDec 18 07:12p

Tennessee Titans WR Kendall Wright (hand) is active for Week 16 after being limited in practice all week.

Frank GoreDec 18 07:02p

San Francisco 49ers RB Frank Gore (concussion) continues through the concussion protocol this week, but head coach Jim Harbaugh anticipates Gore suiting up in Week 16 against the San [ More ]

Julius ThomasDec 18 06:52p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) played just 29 snaps in Week 15; only ten of them were pass routes, according to Pro Football Focus.

Rashad JenningsDec 18 06:12p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) did not practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Carlos HydeDec 18 05:52p

San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde (ankle) did not practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

DeAndre HopkinsDec 18 05:42p

Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins (ankle) did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Dec. 18.

Blake BortlesDec 18 04:22p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles has earned positive reviews from the team in his rookie season after being thrust into the spotlight early this year. 'That is not the [ More ]

Jay CutlerDec 18 04:12p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler was benched just for this week against the Detroit Lions, according to head coach Marc Trestman. Cutler will be active and serve as the [ More ]

DeAngelo WilliamsDec 18 04:02p

Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (hand) will be fitted cast that he can play with on his injured hand. Williams still has not caught a pass with the injured [ More ]

Rashad JenningsDec 18 04:02p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) has not been able to do any running this week, according to head coach Tom Coughlin.

Ryan MathewsDec 18 03:42p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Cam NewtonDec 18 02:52p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) fully participated in practice Thursday, Dec. 18, and appears to be on track to start in Week 16, according to head coach Ron Rivera.

DeMarco MurrayDec 18 02:42p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand), who was expected to take some team snaps in practice Thursday, Dec. 18, is in no more risk if he plays in Week [ More ]

Cam NewtonDec 18 02:12p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) said he is not dealing with any pain in his back but is taking things one day at a time. Newton said he [ More ]

Peyton ManningDec 18 02:02p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (thigh) left practice early Thursday, Dec. 18, because he is receiving a scheduled day of rest. Manning was not limping when he was walking to the locker room.

LeSean McCoyDec 18 01:32p

Philadelphia Eagles RB Chris Polk appears to have become the team's goal-line back of late, and two of the three snaps he played in Week 15 led to short [ More ]

Chris PolkDec 18 01:32p

Philadelphia Eagles RB Chris Polk appears to have become the team's goal-line back of late, and two of the three snaps he played in Week 15 led to short [ More ]

Cam NewtonDec 18 01:22p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) had an increased set of repetitions in practice Thursday, Dec. 18, and it looks like he's on track to play in Week 16 [ More ]

Rashad JenningsDec 18 12:52p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) is not participating in practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Andre JohnsonDec 18 12:52p

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson (concussion) has cleared the leagues concussion protocol and will play in the team's Week 16 game.

Julio JonesDec 18 12:12p

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hip) is not participating in practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Case KeenumDec 18 10:03a

Houston Texans QB Case Keenum is expected to start in Week 16.

Philip RiversDec 18 09:22a

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers (back) is battling a back injury that is more severe than the team has acknowledged, according to a league source. Rivers' back injury [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group