Good buddy Vic Lombardi's Twitter feed is quite interesting tonight. He is reporting that, according to his sources inside Dove Valley, the Broncos believe they have a real shot at getting Peyton Manning. Other developments include the following:
None of this is shocking, of course, other than the part about the Broncos standing a serious chance of landing arguably the greatest quarterback ever to play the game.
Buzz builds that Broncos will make a run at Manning
Mike Klis of the Denver Post has reported that the Broncos will explore the possibility of signing quarterback Peyton Manning. There’s a buzz in league circles much stronger than that.
One league source told PFT in response to the Klis report that there’s a belief the Broncos quietly have positioned themselves to make a significant push to land Manning.
If successful, it makes sense. The only way to cure Tebowmania is to replace the current starter with someone clearly better, and a nearly healthy Peyton Manning is just that.
The Broncos have quietly positioned themselves? I'm not sure Adam Schefter's Twitter account qualifies as quiet.
Via Twitter, Adam Schefter is reporting the following:
Broncos will inquire about former QB Peyton Manning's availability and see if he has interest in coming to Denver.
Here's the first lesson in all of this: don't trust Mike Klis. He reported last night that the Broncos were not seeking Manning.
And the second lesson? I'm not sure, but it involves Tim Tebow in some way, shape, or form.
Broncos likely to stick with Tim Tebow, pass on Peyton Manning
But the primary reason the Broncos won’t pursue Manning is they need to find out more about their young quarterback Tim Tebow. By wobble or by will, Tebow took the worst team in football — and that’s exactly what their 7-24 record dating back to Nov. 1, 2009 made the Broncos, the NFL’s worst team in that span — and led them to the playoffs and a first-round upset of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2011.
Tebow led the Broncos’ to the NFL’s Elite Eight even though he ranked 34th out of 34 passing qualifiers in completion percentage.
Imagine how much the Broncos could win, and how special a quarterback Tebow could become, if he developed into, say, the 28th best passer?
Imagine if Tebow was the 28th best passer? That's supposed to get Broncos fans jacked up?
The Denver Post's original title was: Broncos likely to stick with Tim Tebow, pass on Peyton Manning. A few minutes later it was changed to: Broncos likely to stick with Tebow, but may pursue Peyton Manning. Shortly after that, it changed again to read: Broncos will inquire about Peyton Manning, source says, but likely to stick with Tebow.
On a slightly related note, Scott Hastings of 104.3 The Fan believes Manning would love Denver due to his close relationship with the Rockies' Todd Helton. Apparently, Manning visits Denver more often than we know.
All Dollars and No Sense in the NFL
Denver’s teams under Mike Shanahan played under Gibbs’s zone-blocking system and famously had a history of producing 1,000-yard backs out of thin air. After Gibbs spent three seasons during the mid-aughts in Atlanta with Warrick Dunn as the inherited featured back, he went to Houston and implemented a system that’s worked wonders with Foster and Steve Slaton. In both stops, the zone-blocking system worked with backs who were rookies with limited pedigrees.
Terrell Davis stands out as the obvious comp for Foster — unheralded back out of the SEC steps into the starting lineup and puts up numbers like he’s the best running back in football — but he’s also the cautionary tale. Just like Foster, Broncos fans would have rightly made the case that Davis deserved his big money after years of production. After the 1998 season, when Davis went over 2,000 yards and scored 21 touchdowns, the Broncos locked him up with a seven-year contract extension worth $56 million. Davis lasted four games before tearing his ACL and would average just 3.8 yards on his 312 carries before injuries forced his retirement. The Broncos paid Davis as a reward for his past performance and got very little future performance afterward. We’re not suggesting that Foster is about to tear his ACL, but it’s important to note that the Broncos got roughly similar production from Mike Anderson and then Clinton Portis for not much more than the league minimum.
It's hard to argue with Barnwell here, even though I love me some Terrell Davis. When you can make Reuben Droughns, Olandis Gary, and Mike Anderson go beast mode, it says something about the zone-running scheme. Steve Slaton and Arian Foster are simply the next in line, along with Redskins running back Roy Helu.
Peyton Manning: Redskins poised for a hard sell to superstar QB
The Washington Redskins are poised to make an aggressive effort in coming days to sign quarterback Peyton Manning, who is set to become perhaps the highest-profile free agent in NFL history after he is released by the Indianapolis Colts as early as Wednesday.
Several people familiar with the Redskins’ plans said the team is comfortable with the risks associated with signing Manning, who missed all of last season with the Colts after undergoing a series of neck surgeries. The team will pursue him intently, they said. Redskins officials declined to comment.
One team, the Seahawks, plan to come out "checkbook blazing" for Manning, ESPN New York reported Tuesday, citing a league source.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! The Colts are holding a press conference today at noon ET to announce the release of some guy named Peyton Manning. Manning flew into town last night with Jim Irsay on the Colts owner's private jet, and he will become a free agent as soon as the Colts release him.
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is apparently still enamored with the idea of signing Manning; the Jets will consider adding the QB despite the presence of the Sanchize, although some within the organization figure Peyton would prefer to avoid the Jets' circus act. Arizona is considered a possible suitor, although they must decide whether to keep Kevin Kolb by St. Patrick's Day, when he's due a $7M roster bonus. Of course, everyone figures Shanny & Co. will be in on Peyton as well; Seattle has been mentioned as a potential landing spot, and of course Romeo Crennel made it clear the Chiefs are interested too.
Shanny’s Redskins leader in Peyton Manning sweepstakes
I have talked to people close to the Peyton Manning situation and the expectation as of today is the bidding war will come down to Mike Shanahan’s Washington Redskins and the Miami Dolphins.
The New York Jets and Seattle Seahawks will also make a run, as well up to three or four others.
The Broncos will not be in the bidding, although where Manning lands will create a domino affect that could affect which free-agent quarterback Denver does sign to back up Tim Tebow.
Klis has spoken: no Manning for you!
Colts plan to announce Peyton Manning’s departure Wednesday
The Colts will officially do what has been widely expected for months and formally announce that they’re releasing Manning on Wednesday, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reports. Manning and Colts owner Jim Irsay are expected to attend a joint announcement.
Tebow haters, start your Manning-to-Broncos rumors at midnight tonight.
Or, if you hate Tebow that much, begin...now.
With the rise of dominant tight ends like New England's Rob Gronkowski and the Saints' Jimmy Graham last season, and teams starting to see the position in a new (and very old) light, it was unfortunate to see that the TE pickings remain very limited this year. Yet, there's a chance one or two will surprise people down the road. The main reason is that the advent of the spread offenses in college have diminished the value of the position on that level, and fewer colleges are turning out legitimate TE candidates for the draft. There’s a disconnect there that will have to be worked out eventually, but for right now, all that matters is the options that are going to be available.
Georgia's Orson Charles and Clemson's Dwayne Allen were clearly the class of their group, with Coby Fleener of Stanford not participating. Both are extremely well put together - Allen looks a bit bigger, but Charles is by far the most defined in terms of his musculature. One thing that I look for is the level of muscular development - do they look more like a college kid or an NFL player? Are they at least slightly ripped? Do they have strong calves? Those are essential to anchor and cut well - Charles was the most impressive in that area, and in several others. If they block in line, do they have the bubble for it? How do they hold their hands in the rapid-fire drills? Are they natural receivers, or do they struggle to have their hands in position?