Peyton Grows From a Colt to a Bronco!

Posted: March 20, 2012 by Kodi in NFL

Peyton Manning has finally moved on in his NFL career, next stop DENVER!!!

Manning is bringing his talents to Mile High in hopes of another Super Bowl!

Peyton gives the Broncos the best chance to win that Championship

Denver Broncos Owner Pat Bowlen couldn’t have said it better when addressing the media before Peyton Manning’s press conference announcing he was becoming a Bronco. “This is sort of a historic meeting today, we’re very fortunate to have two Hall of Fame quarterbacks in [the] room today.” It was less than three weeks ago that Peyton was in front of the media back in Indianapolis ending his era as the Colts QB. He came to the realization that he’s “been a Colt for almost all my adult life. But I guess in life and in sports, we all know that nothing lasts forever. Times change, circumstances change and that’s the reality of playing in the NFL.” The reality of the NFL is that the Broncos went out and signed what is undoubtedly the greatest free agent of all-time*.

The * is because although the Broncos signed Manning they have laced his contract with criteria to ensure they don’t get burnt by Peyton’s neck injuries. Manning has had 4 surgeries on his neck in less than two years and although he worked out privately for the Broncos and other NFL teams Denver had to protect themselves and their future. The Broncos and Manning agreed to a 5 year $96 million contract  but there is no signing bonus and he has to pass a physical before each subsequent season in order to get paid. Manning is guaranteed to get paid $18 million for next season  but John Elways told reporters that  he doesn’t “consider it much of a risk, knowing Peyton Manning.” Elway admitted that he asked Peyton “is there e any doubt in your mind that you can’t get back to the Peyton Manning we know of?” to which Peyton replied “there’s no doubt in my mind.”

This contract makes Peyton Manning the highest paid player in the NFL based average annual salary and he hasn’t taken the field in over a year. He admitted that “I’m not where I want to be. I want to be where I was before I was injured. There’s a lot of work to do to get where we want to be from a health standpoint.” It’s too bad for Peyton and the Broncos that there were stipulations agreed to in the new CBA that lowered the amount of time players could be at facilities during the off-season.

Broncos executive vice-president John Elway, head coach John Fox, general manager Brian Xanders, offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, QB coach Adam Gase and multiple personnel of Denver’s medical staff flew to Durham, North Carolina where they watched Manning throw at Duke University. They came away from that meeting thinking that he still looked like Peyton nd were waiting for Peyton to choose the Broncos as the team he finishes his career with.

Until this Monday Peyton was slowly narrowing down his future destinations to three final teams. It was between the Broncos, Tennessee Titans and San Francisco 49ers after Manning informed the Miami Dolphins and Arizona Cardinals that they were out of the running. Bud Adams and the Titans were “hoping we would win out. I thought we’d be ahead of Denver. I thought [Manning] would want to stay in Tennessee.” Peyton called Adams and informed him personally of his decision to which Adams responded “going into high altitude, you better start getting in shape.”

The San Francisco 49ers are in a little bit of a different situation after publicly expressing their interest in Manning. Meanwhile former #1 overall pick Alex Smith is waiting on the wayside having his ego crushed after leading his team to the NFC Championship. The Niners are going to have to repair Smith’s hurt feelings and the 3 year $9 million contract that was offered before may not be enough to repair the relationship. Peyton Manning was pretty upfront explaining that he didn’t feel right playing in the NFC but teams like the 49ers and Cardinals weren’t going to let  a rumor like that stop their pursuit of one of the greatest QB’s of all-time.

This contract with the Denver Broncos is going to be a birthday present that Peyton Manning will never forget. The veteran turns 35 on Saturday but luckily for him the Broncos organization is led by a QB who knows exactly what Manning is trying to accomplish. John Elway didn’t win his first Super Bowl until he was 37 and Peyton already has one Lombardi Trophy. Elway wants to do for Manning what the Broncos did for him at the end of his illustrious career, finish on top. Elway didn’t have his greatest seasons in his final years but behind Terrel Davis and a solid defense he was able to do just enough. Peyton’s ability is up in the air right now because no one has seen him on the field since his surgeries. If Peyton is able to play similarly to his Indianapolis days the Broncos may just let another QB walk off into the sunset a Super Bowl Champion and one of the greatest QB’s in the history of the game.

Elway left with impressive numbers but if Peyton plays all five seasons with the Broncos he could possibly become the NFL’s all-time leading passer in attempts, completion’s, touchdowns, and yards, Brett Favre can keep the interceptions record. There is some worry about how well Peyton will perform in an outdoor stadium in cold weather climate and there is reason to worry. Manning’s QB rating, win percentage, completion percentage, yards per attempt and touchdown to interception ratio are all lower in the games he has played outdoors compared to indoors. He will no longer be in the friendly confines of the RCA Dome but Peyton has never been one to back away from a challenge.

John Elway feels the same way telling the press that his goal is “to make Peyton Manning the best quarterback to ever play the game, and with the football he’s got that ability with the football he’s got left. We didn’t try to sell him hard. We wanted him to feel comfortable here as a place to come and work.” The funniest moment from Tuesday’s press conference was Peyton’s proclamation that he didn’t come to Denver to be their offensive coordinator nor be involved in personnel decisions. That is the biggest slice of bullshit. Manning had to have known that with this move the Broncos will now have nearly $40 million in cap space and could sign former Colts C Jeff Saturday and TE Dallas Clark. Many thought that WR Reggie Wayne would follow Manning wherever he landed but he decided to resign with Indianapolis.

Peyton explained how weird it was for him to be working out for other teams and stepping into another locker room but he knew that was the situation he was going to be in after being cut by the Colts. “it’s certainly very different, there’s no question about that.” Manning continued “and this is going to take me some time to get comfortable with. This is all new to me. I’ve told John [Elway] and Coach [John] Fox I’m going to need their help throughout this process and through this transition.” It is going to be difficult for everyone involved, the organization, the players, the fans and of course Tim Tebow. I haven’t written his name until this point because an article completely devoted to Timmy’s situation is necessary. There isn’t a doubt in my mind that Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos made the right decision and everyone is looking to see the next chapter of this story.

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