MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The long-national nightmare is over as free agent quarterback Peyton Manning has chosen to play for John Elway’s Denver Broncos next season, according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen.
Manning told his agent Monday to begin negotiations with the Denver Broncos immediately. The future Hall of Fame quarterback was sought after by several teams including the Tennessee Titans and Miami Dolphins.
The Dolphins had hoped Manning would pick South Florida and right the listing quarterback ship that has been the Fins franchise since Dan Marino walked off the field more than a decade ago.
But, the Dolphins had trouble even getting a meeting with Manning. Various reports said the Fins had to have Dan Marino serve as an intermediary just to get a meeting. Manning talked with the Fins, but made them come to him, unlike every other team he talked to in the free agency process.
Once Manning’s contract is finalized between the Broncos and his agent, Tom Condon, the Broncos will then look to trade former starting quarterback Tim Tebow. Manning’s contract is expected to be in the neighborhood of five-years and $95 million, according to ESPN.com.
The Broncos will structure the contract to include guaranteed money and various incentives to protect the team against any further injury to Manning’s surgically-repaired neck. The Broncos medical staff has already cleared the team to sign the former Indianapolis Colt.
For Broncos vice-president John Elway, the signing of Manning will accomplish several things for the team. First, it will be the biggest win the Broncos have had since Elway last took them to a Super Bowl victory. Second, it will give the team a classic drop-back passer like Elway has always envisioned.
But most importantly, it will allow Elway to free himself of the albatross that he saw quarterback Tim Tebow becoming for the Broncos. Elway was never a fan of Tebow’s, despite the former Florida Gator leading the team to the playoffs and an upset victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
For Elway to replace Tebow, he had to have a bigger name in the NFL. The only names bigger than Tebow in the NFL were Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, and Peyton Manning. Now that Elway has Manning in house, the team can trade Tebow.
That brings the Miami Dolphins back into the equation of the Manning signing. While not in the same league as Manning on the field, Tebow would be able to sell-out Sun Life Stadium.
It sets up a debate between the business-side of the Dolphins franchise looking to sell seats against the football-side of the franchise that’s looking to win football games. Tebow’s the most controversial quarterback in the NFL, and that controversy now may be headed to Miami.