Patriots

Reports: Peyton Manning heading to the Denver Broncos

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff  March 19, 2012 11:56 AM

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Quarterback Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts and quarterback Tim Tebow of the Denver Broncos meet at midfield after the game at INVESCO Field at Mile High on September 26, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. The Colts defeated the Broncos 27-13.
(Doug Pensinger / Getty Images)
Mile High Manning?

According to a multiple reports, Peyton Manning has instructed his agent, Tom Condon, to begin negotiations with the Denver Broncos. According to ESPN reports, Manning will become the next quarterback of the Broncos "barring a snag during intensified contract negotiations that have commenced."

ESPN's Adam Schefter wrote today that Manning "has informed the other teams of his decision" and that the parameters are in place for Manning to sign a five year contract worth $95 million.

According to Schefter, Manning called Broncos executive vice president of football operations John Elway this morning to tell him "he's looking forward to coming to play for him."

The Broncos were one of the reported finalists for the services of Manning along with the Tennessee Titans and San Francisco 49ers.

Manning visited the Titans in Nashville last week and worked out for team officials and coaches on Saturday in Knoxville. According to reports, Manning called Titan's owner Bud Adams this morning to inform him of the decision and thank him for his interest.

"I was hoping we would win out,'' Adams said according to The Tennessean. "I thought we'd be ahead of Denver. I thought he'd want to stay in Tennessee."

Manning sat out all of 2011 because of multiple neck surgeries, but his success in the past has made him this offseason's top potential signing.

"I think it's a great place for him," Broncos defensive end Robert Ayers said outside the Broncos' complex. "I don't think he made a bad decision. I think he made a great decision. Hopefully we can prove him right and hopefully we can win a lot of games here."

Manning was wooed to Denver by Hall of Fame quarterback Elway, who led the Broncos to two Super Bowl championships. Elway never sounded all that convinced Tim Tebow was the right answer at the sport's most important position. In January, Elway said Tebow would be the Broncos' starter entering training camp, but he had consistently backed off endorsing Tebow as the long-term answer for the franchise.

"I wouldn't say I feel bad for him," Ayers said. "It's a business. And I'm pretty sure Tim understands that. ... We wish him luck, no matter what he does. I hope he's here. He's a great leader, a great locker room guy."

Manning, the NFL's only four-time MVP, was cut by the Colts earlier this month so they could avoid paying him a $28 million contract bonus. Manning continues to recover from multiple neck surgeries that forced him to miss last season.

"Something like this is a historic move," Broncos defensive end Elvis Dumervil told The Denver Post today. "I don't want to put too much pressure on one guy, but what he's accomplished, if he's healthy, I think he can bring us to one of the dominant organizations."

Schefter also reports that the Broncos will now try to trade Tebow. Could Tebow be heading to New England?

Tebow emerged as a controversial and exciting player last season, when he led the Broncos to the AFC West title after replacing Kyle Orton as the starting quarterback. However, his unconventional play has drawn criticism from some who don't believe he can lead a traditional offense.

The Broncos come to Gillette Stadium to face the Patriots next season, the date has yet to be determined.

Take a look back at Manning vs. the Patriots over the years.

Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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