Regardless of which side of the proverbial fence you sit regarding the potential signing of Peyton Manning, the fact remains that if the Denver Broncos do not win a SB with Manning at QB, the entire plan is a failure. It is make or break. Boom or bust. All or nothing. There won't be any "yeah buts", only butts getting kicked if it doesn't work and kissed if it does. I want to take a slightly different tact here compared to the myriad of posts about this and examine this potential deal through some historical context.
For full disclosure, I am not a big fan of the idea of signing Manning, you may as well know that up front. I'm not a Tebow fanatic, I would be more comfortable drafting a QB than signing PM. This is why:
1. There is NO historical precedent for any QB winning two superbowls with two teams. Only Warner has even had the opportunity, starting for both the Rams and Cardinals. Why might this be? Because superbowl winners rarely leave their team, and even more rarely leave before their skills have waned. It is very difficult to jump into a new surrounding and suddenly pull of a SB when you are at the end of your career. It is a simple as that. PM is good, but he's human. We can expect him to perform similarly to other greats such as Favre and Montana. Some will say "but PM is different". Nope. I doubt it. Bodies age. Do you think Elway wins those SBs if he had been shipped out and forced to start over somewhere else? He won in his upper 30's, because the team was assembled around him for years prior. SB don't happen overnight.
2. Favre and Montana both left immensely successful careers to moonlight in other cities at the end of their careers. Favre landed on a very talented Minnesota team that made a good run in '09, but otherwise had a forgettable end. Montana did nothing, spending some time injured each year. It's difficult to reignite that magic in new surroundings, with new schemes, with new coaches, new teammates, new fan base, new ownership, etc.
3. Manning isn't a good playoff QB. He's never been at his best when the season is on the line. His career record in the playoffs is sub .500. If our goal is to get to the playoffs, he's a great signing. If our goal is to win the SB, not so much.
Roethlisberger 10-3 .769
Brady 15-5 .750
Montana 16-7 .696
Warner 9-4 .692
Elway 14-7 .667
Favre 13-11 .542
PManning 9-10 .474
4. Scheme and Coaching. Fox ball is not Manning ball. Others are much more qualified to speak to this, but goodness, our team is not built for Manning or he isn't built for us--whichever. Talk about shoving a round peg in a square hole.
5. I don't know anything about his injury. Others will have to comment as to what degree of a concern that is. But it seems to me, that quarterbacking a SB team (remember anything short is failure) is tough enough before season ending injuries, much less after. That's simplistic, but we're talking about a very physical game here.
6. Do you really believe our line will keep Manning upright? I wish I could say I do, but I saw games this year where our line got absolutely steamrolled in pass protection. I read posts where people are acting like most of the sacks should be blamed on Tebow. There were plenty of times, where he escaped pressure, where Manning couldn't of.
7. Manning will cost us more than his contract if we're smart because we had better get a starting quality backup, because Manning is a huge injury risk, and if he goes down, well look at Indy this year. This is assuming Tebow is traded. During Elway's last year, he was dinged a lot. Without good QB play by backup Brister, that season would have been very different. Injury risk goes higher with age. Good backups are spendy, and should be added to Manning's cost when figuring what his cost will be IMO.
8. Other posts have touched on this, but if we jump to another new QB (again), we continue the rotten QB carousel that we've been on since Elway retired. QB carousel is the mark of dysfunction. We aren't the Raiders, but are acting like it. I was excited about potentially moving in to an era (decade) of consistency and annual contention. Manning may or may not give us that for a couple of years, but once he's done, it's back to rebuilding. I'd prefer doing the rebuilding with a younger player (Tebow, Weeden, Flynn, whoever), even if he isn't the greatest regular season QB in a generation.