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On Peyton Manning, Broncos quarterback

Posted by Chad Finn, Globe Staff  March 19, 2012 12:05 PM

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6. Provided Manning is healthy, I'd say Denver enters the season right there with the Ravens as the third-best team in the AFC, trailing the Patriots and Steelers. And they should run away with the AFC West, which finished with three 8-8 teams (Denver, San Diego, and Oakland) last season, as well as the 7-9 Chiefs.

7. If you'll recall, NBC lost the battle with CBS to flex the late-season Patriots-Broncos matchup onto its schedule. You can pretty much guarantee that the network, the home of "Sunday Night Football,'' won't face a similar dilemma this season when Denver comes to New England (the date is not yet determined) in a sure-fire prime-time matchup, though the game would obviously also hold significant appeal to ESPN and "Monday Night Football.''

8. Lucrative week for agent Tom Condon, who got a reported $95 million for Manning, with another client, Brandon Lloyd, ending up with the Patriots on a three-year, $12 million deal. You'd have thought Lloyd might get more -- maybe Washington would have thrown some more millions his way had he not already played and annoyed there -- but New England was where he always wanted to be. Kudos to Lloyd for prioritizing the situation over money, and kudos to Condon, who has had a non-existent relationship with the Patriots since a contentious negotiation with Ben Watson in 2005, for not letting past hard feelings get in the way of his client's wishes.

9. All of the praise for Denver's deal comes with one obvious caveat: We're sure Manning is, you know, healthy enough to play, right?

10. As for today's Completely Random Football Card:

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When the game of quarterback musical chairs is complete, I'm pretty sure this bespectacled fellow  will be the closest thing to a marquee quarterback who is willing to play for the Dolphins next year. That's right, even Dan Marino will turn down Stephen Ross's offer.

About Touching All The Bases

Irreverence and insight from Chad Finn, a Globe/Boston.com sports writer and media columnist. A winner of several national and regional writing awards, he is the founder and sole contributor to the TATB blog, which launched in December 2004. Yes, he realizes how lucky he is.

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