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Peyton Manning to Sign with Denver Broncos
The Tim Tebow phenomenon is apparently over in Denver as Peyton Manning has informed his agent to negotiate a contract to sign with the Broncos – meaning Tebow likely will be traded by the team.
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A contract between the two sides is expected to be a formality. Broncos vice president of football operations John Elway and Manning first discussed the parameters of a five-year, $95 million contract during their March 9 meeting in Denver, the first time the former Indianapolis Colts quarterback visited a team during his free agency. Manning also visited with the Tennessee Titans, Arizona Cardinals, Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers. It was long thought that Manning wanted to stay in the AFC because that way he wouldn’t “block” brother Eli from reaching another Super Bowl with the Giants.
Denver is expected to trade Tebow now – he’s a Jacksonville native and would help that struggling franchise fill seats. However, the Jags drafted Blaine Gabbert in the first round of last year’s draft and recently signed former Dolphin Chad Henne to be his backup.
This obviously affects the quarterback situations in all those other cities. Tennessee will move forward with Matt Hasselbeck and Jake Locker – Hasslebeck would have been released if Manning had signed there. The Cardinals now will keep Kevin Kolb. The Dolphins also lost out on free agent Matt Flynn. San Francisco’s Alex Smith visited Miami but now the 49ers will make a huge play to keep him. If he stays, as expected, Miami no doubt will take a quarterback with its first-round pick in April’s draft.
If you are wondering, the Broncos do not face the Colts in 2012 barring a miracle playoff matchup. In fact, Denver doesn’t face any of the teams that Manning visited (or Eli’s Giants). The Broncos do face Manning’s archrival in Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Denver was 8-8 this past season but won the AFC West.
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