Gut Reaction: Broncos sign Peyton Manning

We have Peyton Manning; y'all don't.

Suck it down, Bud Adams, and, for that matter, the rest of the league.

If only Al Davis would have been around to weep--and to trade for Tim Tebow.

Oh well, you can't always get what you want.

For John Elway, putting the Broncos in position to win the Super Bowl is enough for now.  Curing Tebowmania is icing on the cake. 

As always, the gut don't lie.  Let's get to it.

The Positives

1) The Broncos immediately upgrade the quarterback position. Tim Tebow (or Adam Weber, for that matter) is to Peyton Manning as a jungle gym is to Gold's Gym--that is to say they aren't even close. The money guys agree.  Before the Manning acquisition, the Broncos were 70-1 to win the Super Bowl.  After they acquired Manning, the number went to 10-1.

2) Manning's arrival also upgrades the offensive line.  The Broncos will likely sign Jeff Saturday, which will allow J.D. Walton to learn how to play center (he was one of the worst in the league last year accoring to Pro Football Focus), or serve as an insurance policy for Saturday, Chris Kuper, and Zane Beadles/Orlando Franklin (depending on if you think Franklin is an option at guard).

3) The return of audibles.  Last year, the Broncos used no audibles after Tebow was inserted into the starting lineup. Elway said so himself.  This year, they won't just be able to audible at the line of scrimmage, they'll have the entire playbook from which to work.  Manning is an NFL encyclopedia on 3rd and long.

4) Speaking of 3rd down, the Broncos will no longer lead the league in the number of drives in which they go three and out.  In fact, try and imagine what the no-huddle offense will do at altitude, Hoss.  It blows your mind.

5) Free agents suddenly want to come to Denver.  Part of the draw for free agents to Denver in 1996--1998 was the figure of John Elway.  Here we go again.

6) The circus maximus known as Tebowmania leaves town. Personally, I can't thank the dear Lord enough.  Gone are the billboards; gone are the Jesus jerseys; gone is the zombie-cult of maniacs that won't stop hunting you until they've devoured your very flesh.

7) The tight end becomes relevant in Denver again--not just one, but two.  Julius Thomas will be more than hype next year.  So might Knowshon Moreno catching passes out of the backfield.

8) Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil might be first and second in sacks next year. They'll likely be playing with a lead. That means Von and Elvis won't have to worry about defending the run. Jack Del Rio can let loose the hounds.  As Shannon Sharpe said, "you can run, but you can't hide."

9) The Broncos won't be pressed into drafting a quarterback in the first round as was rumored.  They can pick up someone in round three or four and let them learn from Manning (as much as is possible, and I'm looking at you here, Curtis Painter).

10) Philip Rivers, your reverse pyschology did not work.  Now you pay, Daddio.

11) You no longer have to Tebow (the verb) just because you saw some random dudes on the internet doing it.

The Negatives

1) Manning's age. Let's be honest: Peyton Manning is no spring chicken.  At age 36 (soon), it's difficult to know just how much tread is on the tires.  John Elway won late in his career, but he was the exception, not the rule.

2) Manning's injuries.  He's been cleared by the doctors, but that hardly qualifies as a certainty.  Yes, all quarterbacks are one hit away, but Manning isn't as bionic as other quarterbacks without four neck surguries.

3) Manning's friends (Saturday/Clark), should they sign, are also up there in years.  Next year could be an injury fest.

4) Overconfidence.  Anyone remember Vince Young's "Dream Team" garbage?  Yeah, that could happen here.  If you doubt this, check out the Twitter feed from Chris Harris or Willis McGahee.  Easy, boys.  It's not even preseason.

5) High rewards often come with high risk.  If this thing bombs, it could really bomb.

6) If you've bought a Tebow jersey already, you are SOL--unless you turn that "5" into an "8." But you've still got that whole "Tebow" name change to deal with. The Christian thing to do, however, would be to donate the jersey to charity.

7) Woody Paige? Sad face.

8) Skip Bayless? Sadder Face.

9) The Broncos' strength of schedule ain't no thang now, is it?  It is. They've still got to play a boatload of tough opponents.

10) GDP just shrunk by 1% due to the uncertainty of Tebow-related merchandise sales, Mike Klis's book, and Tebow's autobiography.

The Who the Heck Knows

1) Florida Gators fans are sad today because of Peyton Manning. I guess Manning, in some way, finally beat Florida.

2) There's hard work. Then there's Peyton Manning.  Somewhere in the middle, there's Tebow. You know it. I know it.  And soon, everyone else will know it.

3) Cosmic irony: Tim Tebow's comebacks and flashes of brilliance actually contributed to his own destruction in this case.  Had the Broncos not finished 8-8 and changed their offense to fit Tebow's unique abilities, Manning might not have seen the Broncos as so damn flexible and close to winning.  The truth is that the Broncos were much farther away from being a division champ than their record said.

4) Is Mike McCoy glad he didn't get the Miami job now?

5) When Tebow gets the Curse of the Madden Cover in 2013, he could be cursing another franchise.

6) John Elway doesn't have to look constipated when the Broncos win next year.

7) Oddly enough, the Broncos will have less sacks next year with Manning than they did with one of the most mobile quarterbacks in the league.

8) Who will be the Broncos' version of Pierre Garcon next year?

9) Is John Elway a liar or do we just need to redefine what we think "training camp" means?  I'd suggest the latter.

10) What is Tim Tebow worth?  We're going to find out. Brian Xanders is about to earn his money.

I’m glad we had this talk.  Now, vaya con Dios, Brah.

Agree, disagree, just like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter so I can quit my day job.

Mark it ZeroGut Reactions

2014 Offseason

Offseason coverage