Peyton Manning goes to Broncos
John Hubbard, Staff Writer
March 27, 2012
Filed under 2012-2013 Archive
In what was labeled the “Peyton Manning Sweepstakes,” the Denver Broncos have acquired the future Hall of Fame quarterback.
Manning’s search for a new team came up after being cut from the only team he had ever played on, the Indianapolis Colts. Jim Irsay, owner of the Colts, decided to cut Manning by not paying him the 28$ million that would keep him on the team this upcoming season. Shortly after the press conference that resulted in Manning being cut, he was on the search for a new team. The hottest free agent on the market was now open for workouts and meetings with other teams. He was contacted by many teams such as the Miami Dolphins, the Arizona Cardinals, the San Francisco 49ers, and others–basically every team in the league that wanted a better quarterback. The Broncos were one of 3 “finalists” in the quest for Manning, the other 2 being the Tennessee Titans and the San Francisco 49ers.
When it became clear who the “finalists” were, you could argue for any of the 3 teams as to why Manning should choose them, but the Broncos had some major X-Factors the other 2 didn’t:
1) John Elway
The Hall of Fame, two time Superbowl winning quarterback for the Broncos knows all about the clutch, and he definitely came through on the recruiting side of things for his old team. Elway and Manning’s careers are almost symmetrical. Elway won 2 Super Bowls at 37 and 38, and Manning is turning 36 this year. Manning is hungry for another Super Bowl win and to get back into the action after missing all of last season, and Elway is the perfect mentor to help facilitate that need. Jim Harbaugh, head coach of the 49ers, was also a great opportunityin terms of a mentor for Elway, but Elway’s fit with Manning was almost too perfect.
2) John Fox
Fox, the head coach of the Broncos, was also a determining factor for Manning. While most coaches would be able to adjust for Manning’s style of play, Fox is the most lax by a long shot. Harbaugh is a fantastic coach, but his offensive system doesn’t allow for much wiggle room. His offense is definitive and on point, and there is no doubt he would try and adjust it for Manning, but Fox allows the kind of freedom Manning needs and has used his whole career; just give him the ball and let him play.
3) The Conference
Manning has been in the AFC South his whole career, and has made it his personal punching bag in the process. While going to the Titans would keep him in the AFC South, Manning felt that he would be able to make more of an impact in Denver. He does not have much time to fullfill his dream of winning another Super Bowl, but he felt that the Broncos had the best chance of getting him to that dream in a quick and efficient manner. One thing that might have isolated him from the 49ers was the fact that they are in the NFC conference. Manning’s brother, reigning Super Bowl champion and MVP Eli, is also in the NFC which would mean that if Manning went to the 49ers, the possibility of the two brothers facing off in the Superbowl would no longer be there.
Manning agreed to a 5 year, 96$ million contract with the Broncos, but only as a formality. Manning knows what he is there for, to win games and to capture another Super Bowl title.