Posted Thu Mar 8th by Monty
If you wanted the Denver Broncos to be aggressive in free agency this year, you’ve got it. Less than 12 hours after Peyton Manning‘s farewell press conference in Indianapolis, reports indicate the Broncos have already contacted Manning’s agent, inquiring about the NFL’s greatest free agent’s interest in coming to Denver.
According to multiple reports, they’re “very active” in their pursuit of Manning and considered frontrunners in landing his services. Reports CBS4 Denver —
CBS4′s Vic Lombardi has learned through multiple sources close to the situation that the Broncos have already contacted Manning’s agent. The quarterback was released by the Colts on Wednesday after 14-seasons in Indianapolis.
The sources told Lombardi that the Broncos pursuit of Manning is very active and the team could be among the frontrunners to land his services. As many as a dozen teams are believed to be interested in the future hall of famer.
Mike Florio at PFT echoes those sentiments —
One league source told PFT in response to the Klis report that there’s a belief the Broncos quietly have positioned themselves to make a significant push to land Manning.
The Klis report to which Florio refers is this fluid article on the Denver Post website about the Broncos’ interest in Manning. All week, Klis has been reporting (as fact) about how the Broncos would NOT be seriously interested in Manning. Now they are. The egg is on Klis’ face, whose fact-finding credibility has already come into question this month, and the Post looks pretty silly for it.
The news naturally raises questions about what the Broncos would do with Tim Tebow if they were to land Manning’s services. According to Vic Lombardi on Twitter, they would trade him.
Lastly, if the Broncos do indeed win the Manning sweepstakes, Tim Tebow will be traded. I’m told there’s no way they will co-exist.
— Vic Lombardi (@VicLombardi) March 8, 2012
It’s certainly not the news Tebowmaniacs want to hear, but it’s a theory that is supported in Woody Paige’s mailbag this morning, in a round-about way. Paige argues that the fact that Manning and Tebow are represented by the same agency makes it very unlikely the Broncos would seriously pursue Manning (noticing a trend in the Post’s Manning coverage here?). High-profile quarterbacks with the same representation just don’t get along on the same team. Paige concluded this would preclude the Broncos from getting hot and heavy for Peyton.
Maybe Paige’s case is sound, but his conclusion isn’t. Maybe the Broncos will pursue Manning either way, and they’ll deal with the player/agent fallout by trading Tebow when the time comes.
Of course, all of these hypotheticals are based on several variables. The Broncos would need to spend a lot of money to win Manning, and they’d need to sell him on their potential as a playoff team in the AFC. They’d need to jump ship on the Tebow experiment (perhaps for a few years, perhaps forever), and they’d need to increase their appeal to the top of a list of suitors possibly a dozen in number.
It sounds like they’re already headed in that direction.