GOOD MORNING, Broncos fans! Yesterday may have been dreamlike, but we can assure you, you were not dreaming. Peyton Manning is going to be the next starting quarterback for YOUR Denver Broncos.
Expectations are that Manning will be introduced and presented with his new, orange number 18 (most likely - thank you, Frank Tripucka) jersey sometime this afternoon by Pat Bowlen once the details of his new contract are cleaned up.
Welcome back, Broncos fans, from the 1950s. It's time to reacquaint yourselves with seeing passes thrown where receivers can easily catch them, audibles at the line, lightning quick decisions and releases, hot reads being hit, picture perfect footwork and mechanics, proper route progressions being read, checkdowns being taken, and points filling the scoreboard.
Even Woody Paige has to admit Denver made sense all along, as Bob Kravitz in Indy stresses; Mark Kiszla correctly says we're back to talking football instead of spectating at the circus; along with Dave Krieger, they credit John Elway for importing his peer in football greatness.
Some of the more puzzling reaction comes from folks like Clark Judge who point out that adding Peyton doesn't instantly make the Broncos SB contenders, because it's an utterly moot point. It's not July, and Manning is not the final piece. Quite to the contrary, he is one of the team's FIRST acquisitions of the offseason. We all know the team will add some of his old friends, have the cap room to do plenty more, and the draft starts in five weeks from Thursday, when the Broncos can now afford to go best player available at #25, if they haven't sent that pick to Pittsburgh as compensation for Mike Wallace (Mike Mayock was again beating that drum on NFLN last night).
As for who will follow Peyton to Denver, Jeff Legwold says there's a good chance Jeff Saturday, Dallas Clark, Joseph Addai, and Jacob Tamme are among them. According to Mike Klis, the Broncos have turned their attention to keeping Brodrick Bunkley in the fold, are hoping to sign Tamme, and we already know Wesley Woodyard will be back. Klis also says that Tom Moore will not be along for the ride, and yesterday's talk of a return by Brandon Stokley was a bit premature.
Andrew Mason sensibly suggests the Broncos should avoid the Colts' big goof and draft a quality to QB to groom under Manning this year.
CBS4's medical editor says we shouldn't be more worried about Peyton's health than we would be with an other QB.
Jay Glazer astutely pointed out that Manning is just not a vengeful guy, plus there's a good chance he'll be headed back to Indy post-playing career - so going to the Titans and facing the Colts twice yearly just didn't appeal to him.
John Henderson says Manning does plenty of good deeds, even if he doesn't have a camera crew following him around to chronicle them.
Mike Tanier recounts Manning's eventful two weeks in his own unique way.
Ashley Fox says nothing Tebow did while working with Noel Mazzone was going to make him good enough for Elway's liking.
Albert Breer was told by one exec that Tebow is strictly an option quarterback, while another thinks Denver should keep him around (not happening).
Bill Polian sees Tebow's trade value as ranging anywhere from a third-rounder to a conditional seventh-rounder. Honestly, anything to move the circus out of town is worth it.
Now that Manning is in Denver (YES!) what happens to the teams that lost out on him? It appears the Niners are about to re-sign Alex Smith, who lost his leverage last night when Miami signed David Garrard to backup or compete with Matt Moore.
The Titans? Well, their front office and coaching staff get to continue along their own path (having potentially missed out on several key free agents) until Bud Adams dicks them over again; it looks like they'll be adding Kam WImbley to their mix. Naturally, their fans are completely bitter.
In Arizona, they're stuck with Kevin Kolb, Skeltonmania, and some bruised egos. The Seahawks, who were never really in it despite stalking Peyton to Denver with their private jet, claim that Matt Flynn and his $10M in guarantees will have to compete with Tarvaris Jackson for their starting job.
In addition to Daniel Fells, the Patriots have added
future HOF tackle guard Robert Gallery and WR Donte Stallworth.
Oakland added ex-Niners CB Shawntae Spencer and re-signed former friend Cooper Carlisle.
Kansas City will host Jerricho Cotchery today and would like to extend Branden Albert and Glenn Dorsey.
Mike Tolbert loved playing for the Chargers so much that he took less guaranteed money to join the Panthers and their already crowded backfield. Meanwhile, San Diego has no interest in bringing back LaDainian Tomlinson or Kassim Osgood.
Bill Barnwell is impressed by how cheaply the Pats landed Brandon Lloyd, and he suspects Houston released Eric Winston because of medical concerns.