Peyton Manning has picked the Broncos and is negotiating a contract with them, according to ESPN.
The Patriots will host the Broncos at some point next season.
It will be interesting to hear why Manning picked the Broncos. It would have seemed the 49ers, given their stout defense, running game with Frank Gore, and recently signings of receivers Randy Moss and Mario Manningham, were the closest team to the Super Bowl. Plug Manning in and the 49ers would have been very tough to beat.
The Broncos are solid team, but they have a lack of weapons and their defense was shredded by better quarterbacks, including Tom Brady. The Titans, the other finalist, had similar positives and negatives.
More than anything — even more than winning — Manning wanted to be comfortable. Denver, with team executive vice president John Elway having lived well there, knows how to deal with a mega-star at quarterback. Playing in the AFC also keeps Manning away from having to face his brother, Giants quarterback Eli Manning, before the Super Bowl. So the possibility of a Manning vs. Manning Super Bowl, probably one of father Archie’s secret dreams, stays alive.
With Manning going to Denver, that means a quarterback will be going: Tim Tebow will be traded.
He will immediately be linked to the Patriots because of his pre-draft visit and Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who drafted him so high when McDaniels was coach of the Broncos.
Personally, I don’t really care. Tebow would just be another guy here — anonymous, used in certain packages — so I can’t see the Patriots forking over a very high pick for him, if any. Tebow is a good football player, though, regardless of position.
It would make more sense for one of the Florida teams that has attendance problems, the Jaguars or Dolphins, to acquire Tebow. He’d instantly increase their market value, especially the Jaguars. I know the football people there don’t want Tebow, but if I’m owner Shadid Khan, I’m directing the front office to acquire Tebow purely for ticket reasons. Let the coaches figure out where to play him.