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Published on 03/09/2012 at Fri Mar 09 11:52.
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The Denver Broncos‘ top brass — Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway, General Manager Brian Xanders and Head Coach John Fox — were all in Stillwater, Okla., scouting Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden when they decided to add another passenger for their trip home.

That passenger? Free agent quarterback Peyton Manning.

Manning, Elway, Fox and Xanders are all on a flight to Denver, Co. as we speak, according to multiple reports.  Manning is meeting with Elway and the Broncos in Denver this evening to discuss his future and possibly signing with the team.

Manning reportedly has the Broncos on his short list of teams and is scheduled to visit the Arizona Cardinals and Miami Dolphins — if he leaves Denver without a contract.  Manning reportedly wants to sign with a team before Tuesday, when the 2012 NFL year and free agency begins.

Are the Broncos a front-runner?

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, just because Peyton is visiting the Broncos first, it does not mean that the Broncos are the front-runner to land Manning.  The Broncos will however have the first chance to make Manning an offer that he cannot refuse, and CBS4′s Vic Lombardi reports that the team considers themselves the favorites to land Manning.

Selling points for Manning:

It is very like that Manning is on this flight.

It is very likely that Manning is on this flight.

Elway will probably mention to Manning this evening that he won two Super Bowls in Denver when he was older than Manning will be this season, and the team may also note that Manning’s two best statistical seasons (2004 and 2005) came when he threw the least (as was pointed out by John Bena).  Manning will also be reminded that the team plays in the AFC West, in which no team won more than eight games last season.

As for getting to the Super Bowl, Denver was just two games away from reaching the big dance last season and can acquire the tools this off-season to get there.  If the team lands Manning, other big-name free agents would be more attracted to Denver.  With an improving defense, a top-ranked rushing attack and talented young receivers in Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker, the Broncos may just be Peyton Manning away from getting back to the Super Bowl.

What about Tebow?

Ah yes, Tim Tebow.  Would fans riot and take torches to Sports Authority Field at Mile High if the team benched or even traded Tebow?  Possibly.  Would the fans forget all about it if Manning returned to his old form and took Denver on a Super Bowl run?  Absolutely.

There have been mixed reports as to what the Broncos would do with Tebow if the team signed Manning.  Tebow is only due to make $850,000 thousand in 2012, so the team could feasibly have both quarterbacks on the roster.  It may depend on what Tebow is willing to do.

If Tebow is willing to either learn under Manning and possibly run several plays a game in special packages, then Denver would have no reason to move on from him.  If Tebow objects to such a role, then the team would not hesitate to trade him, according to several sources.

If the Broncos place Tebow on the trading block, there would be multiple teams interested, most notably the Jacksonville Jaguars.  Trading Tebow for quarterback Blaine Gabbert (and possibly throwing in some picks) would be one option, having Manning then mentor Gabbert until he moves on.

Can Manning throw?

That is something that the Broncos will want to find out.  Manning has reportedly fully recovered from his neck injuries, but the team will want to know if he can still sling the ball around like he did before his injury.

If Manning’s arm is at full strength, there will be no red flags in Dove Valley.  If the Broncos are truly serious about acquiring Manning — and we are told that they are — and Manning is equally interested, he may become a Denver Bronco before the weekend is over.

  • Hope

    Wow it just might happenn that Broncos just might sighn him tonight.

  • Cj

    everybody is assuming tebow will be traded if we sign him, but Tebow isn’t Mark Sanchez. Although, he is a competitor and will want to play. Soo.. if we sign peyton which i personally believe we should; will Tebow stay and learn or want out?

  • flbronc

    mort is on right now and is adamant that this is not because signing is imminent.  His source tells him that this is Peytons process to see the facilities of teams interested in him. Simply doing his due diligence 

  • Hope

    I think the Denver Broncos wont let him out of the building and try to sighn him right then.

  • Cj

    Everybody is saying he wants signed with a team SOON. therefore he wont  visit all 5 teams that are serious. Simply to much time

  • Anonymous

    According to PFT Denver met Manning in Oklahoma already and now they are coming back to Denver.  I am thinking why would he even bother coming back to Denver if he wasn’t really interested.  Oh man!!!!  I am getting pumped. 

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/03/09/manning-visits-broncos-in-denver/

  • Anonymous

    He’s scheduled to visit Miami and Arizona after us, so not sure how to take this. Will Elway make him an offer he simply can’t refuse, which means that Manning will cancel his other trips and just sign with us? Or is this just due diligence on Manning’s part, where he’ll get each team’s best offer, then take a day or two to weight his options, and then fly back to whichever team he chooses to sign contract and do press conference?

    Will Tebow want to sit behind Manning? And hell, will Tebow want to sign his 2nd contract with us if he does “sit and learn” behind Manning? What motivation would Tebow have to stay with us? This would be the 2nd time this team pulled the rug out from under him, which by my math means 100% of the time this team told him he’s gonna be the man next year, they changed their mind. I mention this because if Tebow sits and gets mentored by Manning, what possible loyalty would/should he have for the Broncos to sign his 2nd contract with us backed by only Elway’s word that he’ll be the starter?

    If that’s the case, then why on earth WOULD this front office pay him to sit and learn under Manning, only to have him balk at a contract extension after Manning finally retires? That’s awful risky. What if Tebow stays, gets mentored, turns into a phenomenal QB, and then, when it’s contract extension time, he tells Elway to go fuck himself and his weightless promises? That’s A) a lot of money we paid him to not play, B) draft picks we gave up by not trading him now, and C) watch our finished project play for a different team after all the time and money spent into making him a complete QB…. That just doesn’t add up, and that very real risk of us not retaining Tebow is why I honestly think that if we sign Manning, Tebow will be traded fairly quickly.

  • Anonymous

    Tebow has almost zero draft pick trade value, all the Jag’s owner said was he “would have drafted Tebow”, so we get a sixth rounder…big whoop.  He is under contract and heck, he can “be the starter going into training camp” until he is beat fair and square by Manning.  Manning isn’t going to mentor him (he can watch and learn) Elway is.  So if you get a full off season, watch and learn from Manning, tutored up by Elway and still don’t know where to go with the ball in two years…have a good life, buh bye…

  • Anonymous

    Oh please, oh please, oh please…

  • Anonymous

    If we get Manning, Tebow is gone.  That’s an unworkable situation with all the Tebow disciples in this town.  

    Trade him if you can, release him if you can’t and then deal w/ the QB problem next off season.   Tebow is NOT the future of this team. John is making that crystal clear.

  • Anonymous

    I sighed thinking we could sign him tonight, it would singe the hairs on more than one Tebow fan who sings his praises, I wonder if Vijay Singh has any thoughts on this potential signing?

  • Anonymous

    Oh, indeed.

  • Anonymous

    Damn you, blogosphere! Why must you provide me with so much information, causing my heart to be torn into many anxiety-riddled pieces? Do I want this? How much? Will my heart be broken? Should it be? AAARRRRRRGGGGHHHHH. Wake me when he signs with somebody! (Gulp, US?!?!)

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think John is making that crystal clear Herc.  If you have a car that needs some work but you know it could be a great car, you stick with it…then your neighbor puts a Ferrari up for sale in your price range…yeah, you can work on the other car later and check out the Ferrari now.

  • Cj

     lets not over go overboard and totally diss Tebow. If we dont sign manning and we said screw him what does that say about everyone

  • MeOMy

    Reasons why Manning is coming to Denver.

    1. He is only looking at 3 teams: Fins, Cards and Broncos
    2. Denver is an AFC team and he wants to remain in the AFC
    3. More stable situation than Miami. We didn’t just fire our coach.
    4. We were one of the final 8 teams in the playoffs.

  • Anonymous

    No way.  He wouldn’t be kicking the tires on Peyton (to use your analogy) if he thought Tebow was the answer.  He’d ride or die w/ Tebow.  

  • Hansen

     hahahah  too funny. 

  • King

     You have it backwards.  Tebow would learn how to read defenses from the best. 

  • King

     I think Tebow would stay.  Manning will be 36 this spring and I don’t see him playing more than 4 more seasons. 

  • Anonymous

    My dry humor escaped you my friend…

  • Amantdecoeur

    Wow there you go elway, you let your true colors shining through. You’re a piece of work.

  • Anonymous

    I agree, no way Tebow and Manning can or should co-exist on this team.  Get what you can for Tebow and draft a QB in the first or second round that can learn from Manning for at least the next two years.  

  • http://broncotalk.net Monty
  • Hansen

     Dude, his “true colors” have been made known for a long time.  What is said, and not said, speaks volumes if you listen.  Remember, football is a business. 

    Elway is doing what he feels is best for the Broncos and I, for one, am loving it.

  • Hansen

     Dude, his “true colors” have been made known for a long time.  What is said, and not said, speaks volumes if you listen.  Remember, football is a business. 

    Elway is doing what he feels is best for the Broncos and I, for one, am loving it.

  • Anonymous

    What exactly are Elways’ true colors?  That he inherited Tebow and if he says one negative thing about him Tebownation tears him a new one?  Elway’s goal is to get the Broncos back to the Super Bowl as soon as he can and acquiescing to Tebownation doesn’t help his cause.  This is a get out of jail free card for Elway and he realizes that.  Let the Tebow sideshow go somewhere else so he can create a team that is built on fundamentals not overzealous fans.  Personally I think Elway has handled the situation as well as he could knowing that deep down he doesn’t have much/any faith in Tebow panning out long term.  

  • BroncoSoldier

    This is insane! Its not like we are talking about Matt Flynn here, this is Peyton “F”ing Manning, 4 time pro bowler, Super Bowl Champ, best QB at reading the D and making them look stupid. 

    If Tim doesnt want to sit and learn from a living legend to better himself than I say go luck to you and have a nice life

  • Anonymous

    I think the issues lie more with Tebownation than they do with Tebow himself.  Tebow may be willing to sit and learn for two years but his followers will not.  The situation would simply be too volatile for comfort.

  • Anonymous

    YUP.  Tebow will do and say the right thing, becasue that’s how he do.

    It’s about 70K mouth-breathers chanting TEBOW, TEBOW every time he throws an incompletion.

    This is John’s out w/ Tebow and he’s going to do everything he can to make it happen…

  • Anonymous

    You’re all over it today. 

  • http://Facebook.com/BroncosZone Jon

    Love your avatar!

  • gmwb

    How’s the aroma in Peyton’s colon? Like roses huh…breathe deep thru your nose pal.

  • ELocoBronco

    In all actuality, there should be at least 20 teams highly interested in signing Manning. But they have already paid and franchised.. the QB that probadly will NEVER get them to a superbowl, let alone win one!! Elway is a smart guy! And I am so happy he is apart of our situations here in Denver. I sometimes wonder why this didn’t happen when we had mike shanahan. hmmm!!

  • Anonymous

    probably the same as it is up tebow’s ass, right?

    At least my guy can throw.

  • crazykid

    Well, they sure weren’t joking when they said they would “bring in another QB for competition” haha

  • King

     I’d like to see Manning a Bronco, but it’s not gonna happen.  You’re gonna be stuck with Tebow for another year herc.  lmao.

  • gmwb

    tee hee, you so funny…

  • Anonymous

    Troll!

  • flbronc

    touche  

    schefter reported basically the same thing shortly there after.. That kind of bails me out, right?

  • Tom9798

    Who knows?

  • areferee

     I agree TD.  I think he would be a great sighnal caller!

  • areferee

    If anyone has the moral backbone to handle the signing of Manning, it would be Tim Tebow.  I believe the man has the fiber to handle ANY eventuality with the same positive outlook as always.

    Regarding wanting Manning in the first place, I simply ask you:

         If it was baseball, wouldn’t we want “The Babe”?

         If it was basketball, wouldn’t we want Michael Jordan?

         If it was hockey, wouldn’t we want Wayne Gretzky?

    Manning/Tebow will work… and I am on record as a staunch Tebow supporter.

  • http://Facebook.com/BroncosZone Jon

     Here, here!