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Published on 03/14/2012 at Wed Mar 14 06:30.
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(Photo by Paul Spinelli/Getty Images)

With all the speculation as to where free agent quarterback Peyton Manning should — and will — sign going on,‘s Rick Reilly decided to create an unbiased, objective system to break which team is the best fit for Manning.  The four teams in the running are the Broncos, Titans, Cardinals and Dolphins.

Using the time-honored plus/minus system, going from minus-5 to plus-5, Reilly made the following conclusions:


Denver plays in a division that could be taken by a team of girl scouts armed with Pez dispensers. The Broncos won it last year with a guy who tossed more dirtballs than a Hooters bouncer.

Final division rankings:  Denver +5, Tennessee and Arizona 0, Miami -5. 

Wide receivers:

Denver has Demaryius Thomas, who is only 24 and already a ball-gobbling glutton. Plus, the Broncos have a possible star in Eric Decker.

Final wide receiver rankings:  Arizona +5, Denver and Miami 0, Tennessee -5.


Tennessee isn’t bad, but neither is Denver. Do you realize the average Denver high in December is 46? That’s seven degrees higher than in Indianapolis. Denver also gets about 250 clear, sunny days a year. There’s a reason there’s no dome in Denver. The Broncos don’t need one. Only problem is, if you get Tim Tebow benched, you’re going to need a steel umbrella for all the frogs that will rain down.

Final weather rankings:  Arizona and Miami, +5, Tennessee and Denver 0.

Cap room:

It’s not as though you’re Tom Brady. You can’t throw and catch the passes yourself. You’re going to need some help. Denver has by far the most cash to buy help with — nearly $45 million.

Final cap room rankings:  Denver and Tennessee +5, Miami 0, Arizona -5.

Super Bowls:

You and your brother Eli have always had a dream to play against each other in a Super Bowl. Can’t do that if you go to Arizona.

Final Super Bowl rankings: Tennessee, Miami and Denver +5. Arizona 0.


Here’s the 2010 murder rate per 100,000 people. Hey, you have to consider these things. Denver 3.6; Phoenix 7.6; Nashville 8.9, Miami 15.4. So, in Denver, your chances of being murdered are low. In Miami, you’re basically a metal donkey at a shooting gallery. How good is your flak jacket?

Final crime rankings:  Denver +5, Arizona and Tennessee 0, Miami -5.

Coaches/Front office:

Denver has a 10-year head-coaching vet in John Fox, who is a player’s coach. Also, you might like to end up running a team after you’re through playing. What better guy to watch every day than John Elway? And don’t forget, Elway won his two Super Bowls at 37 and 38. You’re 35. He’ll know what you need.

Final coaches/front office rankings:  Denver and Arizona +5, Tennessee and Miami -5.


But the Denver area actually has more courses in Golf Digest’s top 100 rankings than any of the other three towns — Castle Pines (29th) and Cherry Hills (67). (Not going to be hard to get you on, either — Fox and Elway belong.)

Final golf rankings:  Tennessee and Denver +5, Arizona 0, Miami -5.


You have twins, a boy and a girl. You need to think about where you want to raise them. Do you want them to grow up to be singers (Tennessee), skiers (Denver), golfers (Arizona) or assisted-living nurses (Miami)?

Final lifestyle points:  None. No judging. Just saying.

And finally …

Arizona ranks first in the nation in number of ant species. (Your two 1-year-old girls aren’t going to like that.) Nashville ranks first in the nation in Internet shopping. (Uh-oh. No real shopping. Your wife isn’t going to like that.) Miami ranks first in international freight. (Do you like barges?) And Denver ranks first in beer production per capita.

Points: Denver +5, everybody else 0.

So, let’s see where you should go, according to our entirely objective and arbitrary system:

Denver +40
Arizona +15
Tennessee 0
Miami -10

(We’ll keep a cold one waiting for you.)

You can read the original and entire article here:  Peyton’s Next Place,


    I only wish this system worked.  I hate waiting on people to make decisions.

  • ETL

    Jon, we all appreciate the hard work you’ve been putting in… but this is a little strange of an article.

    I mean, it’s not really even an article. I can read ESPN all by myself, thanks.

  • Anonymous

    I want this drama over with. Have we ever seen a front office this ….. what’s the word I’m looking for? ……. “unable to get out of their own way?” , “dysfunctional?” , “two faced?” ,  “lacking in integrity?” , “fumble prone?” …. what’s the correct word/phrase?

    I haven’t seen a front office this so messed up since Detroit with Matt Millen. It seems like this front office is no better than it was under Josh McDaniels. Does Elway have any integrity at all? Can Fox and Elway make up their minds on anything? Do they have any convictions at all? Do they have any integrity at all? My goodness, this front office can’t get out of their own way!

    Seeing this team, front office included, post-Shanahan is embarrassing! Simply embarrassing! They have fumbled and bumbled. They have lied and back stabbed. They have stuttered and dropped the ball at every turn. This current EFX front office has done pretty much 2 things correct, and that was drafting Von Miller and Orlando Franklin. McDaniels did roughly the same amount of things correct in drafting Thomas, Decker, Tebow. However, this front office is acting like clowns.

    Know what this front office needs to do, but doesn’t have the sack to do? They need to make a decision, and STICK TO IT!!! Have some F’ing CONVICTION!!!! If they don’t like Tebow, trade him! Don’t lie to him. Don’t lie to us fans. Don’t lie to us season ticket holders in order to sell more tickets and merchandise. Be honest and up front, and have some conviction!

    If they want Manning, then go get him! They’re being held hostage by Manning, and are suffering from Stockholm Syndrome because of it. Like Shanahan or not, but guess what he wouldn’t do? He wouldn’t be held freaking hostage by a free agent, not even Peyton Manning! Proof is in the pudding with him trading up to the #2 pick. He wasn’t gonna wait for the Manning circus to come to DC, and he sure as hell wasn’t going to be forced to sit idly by the opening day of free agency because Manning is now dragging his feet and holding teams hostage in order to get more money. At least Shanahan has the balls to make up his mind and have the conviction to stick to it. Sure he’s whiffed on some, but he’s been dead on accurate on many others.

    This two faced, back stabbing, integrity-less front office is making me embarrassed to be a Broncos fan. At least under Shanahan I could say “I trust his judgement.” I couldn’t say that with McDaniels, and I obviously can’t say that with Elway. I never thought I’d allow someone to say they didn’t trust Elway without it getting int at a minimum of a verbal fight, if not physical fight, much less hear myself utter those words. I’m ashamed, not of myself for saying that, but of Elway for lying so easily, and for having no convictions or integrity in how he runs this team and these players.

    Do you know how he (Elway) can restore some semblance of faith from the fan base and players? Make a decision, and stick to it. If he want’s Manning, tell Manning that he needs a decision by the end of today! Tell Manning that there is no lime left to stand on the sidelines and watch talented free agents sign with other teams. Tell Manning that we are the Denver Fucking Broncos, and we are bigger than any 1 person. If Manning is the person we all think he is, he’ll want to play for a team and front office that shows that type of conviction and integrity. Think Tom Coughlin or Bill Belicheck would put up with this, or be so lase-fare about their starting QB? Not only no, but hell no! Hell, Bilicheck started a 7th round second year QB who was 3rd string when his pro-bowl starter went down! THAT takes balls, THAT takes conviction, and THAT takes guts!

    If Elway wants Manning, get him. If he wants Tebow, tell Manning that like Shanahan just did, we are no longer interested. If he doesn’t want Tebow on the team, put him up on the auction block immediately and then draft Weeden or someone who he personally picks out. If he wants to win and be a team to reckon with for the next decade, then forget all this front-office-manufactured QB drama and FIX THE GD DEFENSE!!! Man, I’m normally excited as all hell this time of the year. For the first time in my life, I’m dreading what this front office will do. I fear that they’re about to mess things up worse than McDaniels did. I’ll always support MY team (Broncos), but man, they need to grow up. And to all you “they aren’t your team” people, yes they are. I pay for my 4 season tickets every year, I pay my sales tax that is paying for the stadium, and I help pay their wages through my merchandise purchases.


  • anthony33

    Manning is now officially stringing us along.  He is going to sign with Tennesse.  Meanwhile we sit around and do nothing waiting on hes decision. BS.

    I also believe that Elway has burnt whatever bridge there was between him and Tebow.  In my mind you now have to trade him.  Probably Jax or Miami.  Myabe figure out a way to get Locker out of Tennessee.

  • Anonymous

     Maybe the word I was looking for was “flaky”… Man, this is embarrassing!

  • Duane

     Wow, did you buy a lemon from a John Elway dealership and are still bitter about it?  In his little over a year one the job took the mess that McD left, hired a solid coaching staff, brought in several quality free agents, drafted well, won the AFC West, and won a playoff game.  Lots of good decisions!  He is handling PM much better then your rambling rant.  Calm down, take your meds or sip a cold one, enjoy the always interesting Bronco off season. 

  • Anonymous

    The thing is that he isn’t handling anything well. He maybe drafted better than McDaniels, but remember, McDaniels hired a solid staff, brought in quality free agents, but didn’t draft his 1st year that well. We won the AFC West, but how much of that was because of Elway’s decisions vs the TEAM rallying around Tebow (the guy Elway obviously wants out). We’re talking about John “Orton-gives-us-the-best-chance-to-win” Elway. We’re talking about “ultimately, winning is what the QB gets paid to do” only to have Tebow start winning, to which he says “ultimately, 3rd down conversions is what a QB gets paid to do”. He is a HOF QB and yet he can’t even be honest enough to us and his team to say what he thinks his QB should do?

    I’m handling the PM thing the exact same as Elway is, namely, I’m sitting on my thumbs doing nothing and being held hostage by him.

    I’m just sick and tired of the “state of the front office” since about 2007. Stuff needs to change. We need someone in charge that has balls. We need people with conviction. We need people with backbones, and we need people who will make decisions instead of waiting for others to make decisions for them!

  • Anonymous

    Peyton Manning is turning this into another Brett Favre side show. He should be ashamed of himself.

  • Anonymous

    Dude, you’ve gone off the deep-end.  Relax a little bit. 

  • Jon

    Sorry, ETL. Just wanted to pass it along to anyone who hadn’t seen it yet.

  • Arthomasvt15

    Nice to see how loyal Denver fans are to Tebow. You’re all mad that some college fans like Tebow more than they like the Broncos. This is why……………………………………………………

    In the NFL, you have no friends, you have no family, you have no loyalty… you’re just a guy on the payroll. People love their colleges. Tebow will always be a Gator. Will be welcomed in Florida for the rest of his life. Speaking of Peyton Manning……. a guy that called him “family” just cut him from the only team he’s ever played for the save cap room. That’s the NFL for you……. and that’s why Tebow has his own fans as much as it angers Bronco faithful. It’s really sad how much of a big deal has been made of Tebow’s fan following. Probably the best role model to every participate in any sport, a guy who’s loyal, faithful and true is being crucified (pun intended) for having fans. 

    I hope Tebow plays for the Broncos for the next 15 years. Letting go of Tebow to get (maybe) 2 years of Peyton Manning will be the worst mistake ever for Denver. John Elway looks to be going the way of Jordan when it comes to managing a team. Jordan was the best ever……..   couldnt coach or manage a little league team. If John Elway screws this up, he’ll get run out of town too. There’s no loyalty, honor, or class in the NFL. It’s just a business…….

    That’s why Tebow is bigger than the game. Bigger than the Broncos…. and that’s why he has the fan following that Denver fans seem to despise. You’ve all showed your true colors…. they certainly arent orange and blue.

  • Arthomasvt15

    Denver wasnt even on the radar for Manning. Then it gets mentioned and all the media are acting like Denver and Manning is a match made in heaven. Like an indoor QB from the east was just meant to play for a cold weather team from the northwest!!!…..

    Media loves drama….. the media pushing Manning to Denver is simply because it creates more drama. 

  • kguest

    PM might as well do a show on espn to pick a team like LJ

  • Anonymous

    One day past the first day of free agency, not even a week since Manning made his first visit,  Manning is going to talk to one more team and already this is a side show?  

  • Anonymous

    News flash, we have more days of sunshine than Miami. Denver is at the same latitude as Baltimore and Rome.  You’ve obviously never been to Denver based on your stupid comment.  Not to mention your lack of knowledge regarding geography.

  • Anonymous

    News flash, we have more days of sunshine than Miami. Denver is at the same latitude as Baltimore and Rome.  You’ve obviously never been to Denver based on your stupid comment.  Not to mention your lack of knowledge regarding geography.

  • Anonymous

     Are you campaigning for dumbest comment?

  • Ninjaix

    You seem to think that Elway and Fox hand picked every player on the roster. They didn’t. All they are trying to do is build “their team” most head coaches who take over a team usually start with a change at QB as a coach if you have a franchise Qb then you usually have a job. Tebow who I love was forced onto EFX yes Xander’s is included because Mcscrewup did what he wanted. Peyton is an incredible asset if you speak to backhandedness look directly at Arizona who traded for Colb gave him a huge multiyear contract only to renig a year in. Or how about Tennessee who signed Hasselback to a 3 year deal only to have their owner publicly announce his borderline obsessions to anybody that would listen. Then their is Maimi who last off season chased Harbough even though they had a couched who was a year removed from the playoffs and signed an extension only to be cast aside with the mere mention of a coach they never had a shot at.

  • Anonymous

     Did professional football stop being a business?  You have not been a Broncos fan very long if you’ve forgotten how Shanahan treated Bubby Brister and Jake Plummer.

  • broncfan

    It’s beginning to look like FEX have just been taken for a lonng boat ride by Peyton and dropped off. Hope they have a way to get back…

  • Anonymous

    Are people so awe struck with Manning like some of the Tebowites are with Tebow that they forget processes along the way?

    Here is why it’s quickly becoming a side show:
    #1. Peyton Manning says he’ll sign an incentive based contract to prove to the team he’s healthy and worth it.

    #2. Peyton Manning says it isn’t about the money, it’s about winning a championship.

    #3. Peyton Manning says he will make his decision on where he’s gonna play BEFORE the start of free agency so that the team he goes to won’t be held back because of him.

    #4. Colts “do Manning a favor” by releasing all sorts of his favorite teammates so they can follow him to the new team.

    #5. Reggie Wayne mirrors that same assumption.

    #6. Manning seems to have zoned in on a few teams that very well might be a “Peyton Manning” away from the SuperBowl.

    #7. (This is where Manning starts to lose his luster in my eyes, not that I mean anything to him) Manning narrows his teams to 2 and again says he’s gonna make his decision by Monday, the day before free agency starts, however, he is now going to talk with Dolphins on monday in Indy, not Miami. This says to me that it’s maybe about the money and not the chance at a ring. Why? Because like every free agent who signs with a team, they sign to the highest bidder and usually don’t fly to that new team’s headquarters until the cameras are rolling and they are signing their contract. Manning just did this in a way, which makes me really leery.

    #8. The Titan’s owner just said he’s gonna do whatever it takes to land Manning. He didn’t say whatever it takes within reason, or whatever it takes without putting his team in salary cap hell. No, he said whatever it takes…. Period! Suddently, the Titans are on Manning’s short list. They weren’t there before when he was willing to sign a performance based deal, but now they are. Why is that? What changed? If anyone says that the Titans aren’t on his new short list solely because of the money they are wiling to offer him, they are delusional. This move by Manning is where I start souring on him.

    #8. Free agency begins, thus, making Manning a liar and an obvious money grabber. How can I say this? Here’s how… He has officially gone against everything he stated he is about, namely, going to the team with the best chance of winning, while signing a performance based contract, and in helping said team to better their chances at winning, make his decision BEFORE free agency begins so his new team can be active immediately.

    #9. Now, the money projected to be thrown his way is $90-100 MILLION DOLLARS, a lot of which is reported to be guaranteed. This will cripple any team in their pursuit of a championship. Why? Because, the teams interested in him have many holes to fill, which requires money. Manning will demand that money, and thus, leave less for the team to build with.

    #10. (I’m officially off the Manning Bandwagon as of yesterday night). Manning has really shown his true colors. He is now putting himself first at all cost. An incentive deal is no longer an option. We witnessed Eli restructure for less money in order to have the Giants in a better position to sign free agents in order to WIN more championships. Peyton is officially doing the opposite. Tom Brady, in the prime of his career, took less than market value and was quoted as saying “what’s a few more million if it means that we can’t make the team better by signing quality players?” Peyton is doing the exact opposite of this. He’s driving the price up at all costs. Because of that, he’s holding his suitors hostage because they can’t go out and spend in free agency because they know Manning is driving up the price, and if they are active in free agency, they might not be able to afford Peyton, even if they really do give him the best chance of winning.

    Peyton Manning is losing credibility by the second. If he’s healthy and plays at his normal level, he’ll get his money through his incentive based contract. He doesn’t need it guaranteed, because he’ll have earned it. It’s kinda like the old adage “why do you care if you have nothing to hide?” Because of this new money grabbing move by Manning, his injury needs to take center stage. How healthy is he? If it’s incentive based, then you take the gamble because an unhealthy Manning means he isn’t costing you much. If he is healthy, then he’s worth every penny. So why is the money now a factor? Is it because he’s trying to fleece a team for one last huge payday? It’s looking more and more like that is the case. Why is he dragging his heels and stretching this process out past his promised deadline?

    Lets face the facts. He’s a) driving up the money, b) dragging this out, c) loving the 24/7 media coverage, which is driving up the price (like Favre), d) he’s holding teams hostage in free agency because of the money it’s gonna take to get him that he previously stated wasn’t gonna happen, and e) he’s lowering his prospective team’s chances at winning a championship by not allowing them to really “begin” free agency and mold their team around him, which they can’t do until they know they have him.

    Was that a clear enough answer for your question? Hopefully I jogged your memory, and the memories of anyone else thinking the same thing as you. Like many tell the blind Tebow lovers, “look past your love of Tebow and you’ll see the truth”, I implore you to “look past your love of Manning and you’ll see the truth.”

  • Anonymous

    Trust me, I haven’t forgotten, but at least when Shanahan said/did something, he stuck to it. This front office is “more flaky than a leprosy colony” ~ Bloodhound Gang

  • Anonymous

    I agree.  This is kind of getting old.  I would love to have Manning, but dude needs to hurry and decide.  I am about to kill a couple people on twitter that keep posting that we have just signed him.   Driving me nuts.  I almost thinking that we should walk away if he doesn’t decide by tomorrow.  I know people will probably think I am crazy for saying that, but I am tired of the waiting game.  Especially if it is holding us back in FA.

  • Anonymous

     I’m not a fan of the Cardinals, Titans, or Dolphins. I’m a fan of the Broncos, so however retarded those clubs’ front office treat their players is of no concern to me. If I see good practices on other clubs, I want that mirrored by the Broncos. If I see bad practices on other teams, I hope our front office never acts like them. You are pointing out bad practices on other teams that are mirrored by the Broncos, because………..? Why? To prove that EFX are as big of fuck-ups as Miami’s front office? As Arizona’s? What’s the point of your post? Because pointing out how our front office is mirroring other fucked up front offices is only proving my points, instead of disproving them as you are clearly attempting (albeit poorly) to do.

  • Anonymous

    What exactly have you made clear other than a need for a tinfoil hat?  Your “calculations” are based on nothing more than wishful thinking and not facts.  Do you know for a fact that Manning was not interested in going to Tennessee prior to Tennessee saying they were interested?  Did Manning guarantee that he would make a decision prior to the start of free agency?  No he did not he said he wanted to make a decision, which is a far cry from saying he would make a decision.  You have no facts to offer, nothing new there.

  • Anonymous

    What a bunch of losers.  One day after the start of free agency and you’re all whining.  Grow up already.

  • Anonymous

    You’re joking right?

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • broncfan

    Whining or Winning?

  • Anonymous

    No, he’s right.   You’re basing all of your complaints off speculative news reports from less than reliable sources.   

    Your “Lets face the facts” paragraph doesn’t have a single fact in it.   Not one.

    I mean, unless you’ve got a psychic bond with Peyton, you’re talking out of your ass.

  • Anonymous

    If we sign Manning, then being “1 day late” doesn’t affect a whole hell of a lot.

    If we don’t sign Manning, then being “1 day late” is very damaging to our team.

    With Manning, Thomas, Decker, Willis, Hill are more than enough for him to have an MVP season (if 100% healthy). Without Manning, we need another WR. Unfortunately, all the good ones signed day 1 of free agency (Colston, Wayne, V Jax). This is just 1 example of how hurtful it is to miss out on the first day of free agency. So to your point, yes, “one day after the start of free agency” does harm us. Anyone who doesn’t realize this lacks the fundamental I.Q. required to call anyone a “loser”.

  • Anonymous

    I like Tebow, but do you honestly think one of those big name receivers was going to sign with Denver knowing that they were going to see the ball maybe 5 times a game and 2 of those throws were going to be in the dirt.  I agree that a day late without Manning is a day lost, but there are not receivers exactly lining up to play with TT, although, there are some that are trying to run away!

  • Anonymous

    I like Tebow, but do you honestly think one of those big name receivers was going to sign with Denver knowing that they were going to see the ball maybe 5 times a game and 2 of those throws were going to be in the dirt.  I agree that a day late without Manning is a day lost, but there are not receivers exactly lining up to play with TT, although, there are some that are trying to run away!

  • Anonymous

    You busted me. I am a psychic. lol. j/k.
    you’re probably right. I’m going off of things that schefter, clayton, etc are saying they either heard, or were told by “sources”. I guess unless there is video/audio of Manning saying it, it’s all just speculation. You’re right, I’m wrong. My bad.

    I still think the longer this strings out, the less I want him on our team.

  • Anonymous

    V Jax signed with Tampa without visiting, and after that trainwreck of a season last year, so yes, I think those guys would sign here.

  • Anonymous

    FUCK you peyton manning!!! thanks you fucking idiots fox and elway for getting sucked into mannin g talk just enought to lose out on all free agents while kansas city is getting peyton hillis and kevin boss and SD is getting meechem and royal, and garret johnson from ravens….we havent done shit!!! fuck elway and fuck manning!!!

  • Anonymous

    so true every word!!! funny mcd’s choices look good compared to elways waffling.