Well, the Denver Broncos have won the Peyton Manning derby, beating out Tennesse and San Francisco in the end (even though I don't think SF was ever really in play). Unfortunately for many fans, it means that Tim Tebow is likely on the way out.
According to ESPN's Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter, the Denver Broncos will pursue a trade for Tebow when the Manning deal is finalized, and a lot of fans are unhappy about that.
It truly is a bittersweet time. Or maybe a sweet-bitter time since it's possibly more sweet than bitter, but many of you who have been on this site for a while know that I am not only one of Tim Tebow's biggest supporters, I have wanted him in orange and blue since the summer of 2009.
To me, Tebow embodies everything you look for in a professional athlete. Is he rough around the edges? Yes, but he has a lot to work with, and I thought he was a perfect fit for this organization. Obviously, Josh McDaniels agreed as he moved around the 2010 draft and wound up trading three picks to get Tebow at the back end of the first round.
All of that being said, as much as I love Tim Tebow as a prospect, player, person, etc., I don't think there's any way the Broncos would've passed on a chance to get Peyton Manning, a future hall of fame quarterback. Did we honestly not expect John Elway to pursue Manning?
It was clear from the beginning of the John Elway era (part two) in Denver that Tebow was not 'his guy'. Elway wasn't even willing to say that the team was moving forward with Tebow after the Broncos won a first round playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tebow played arguably his best game as a Denver Bronco.
He was merely guaranteed starter status heading into training camp.
To me, that was the biggest indication that Elway wanted to move on from Tebow, and as a big supporter of Tebow, I had to accept it. Elway simply wasn't going to move forward with this guy, and whether it was rumors of trading up for Robert Griffin III or meeting up with Manning at Brandon Weeden's pro day, I just feel like the Broncos were going to move on from Tebow no matter what the guy did.
This move is an absolutely huge move for the Broncos' organization. Sure, Manning may not be what he was in 2004, but I still think he is almost inarguably the biggest free agent acquisition in NFL history. Manning has also had three neck surgeries and four operations in total, but he is healthy enough to play and in good enough shape to be a Pro Bowl NFL quarterback once again.
One thing that is really bugging me is saying that Manning is a way for the Broncos to get out of the "Tim Tebow experiment" because that is just garbage. This is a once-in-a-lifetime signing and the Broncos proved to be the best recruiters and have the best situation overall for Manning to join.
To be honest with you, I feel like I don't know what to think right now. I can't make sense of this all because my emotions are so mixed. I really wanted Tim Tebow to be the future of the Denver Broncos, but when Manning expressed interest in Denver, I think all bets were off. Manning is a legendary player who can have a significant impact, and while he might not be going out there throwing 50 touchdown passes like he used to, I think he will all but guarantee the Broncos a spot in the playoffs and the best shot at a division title.
This is absolutely an exciting day for Broncos fans, and I can't wait to see the fallout of this signing.