Are The Denver Broncos A Dark Horse For Peyton Manning

Mar 7, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning speaks and Jim Irsay stands beside him to announce during a press conference at Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center that Peyton Manning will become a free agent. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

A almost can't believe my ears. Almost. Peyton Manning officially said good-bye to the Indianapolis Colts earlier Wednesday in a tearful press conference with Manning and Colts owner Jim Irsay. This wasn't really a surprise - most people thought the Colts would be hard pressed to write that $28 million check - and became nothing more than a formality when the Colts completely fell apart in 2011, landing the #1 Pick in the 2012 NFL Draft which will turn out to be Andrew Luck. The big question now will be where will Manning land?

Could the Denver Broncos be the dark horse?

Mike Klis reported yesterday that the Broncos would not bid on Manning. Several NFL insiders - Chris Mortensen, Trent Dilfer and Tom Jackson among others - seem to think John Elway would be extremely interested in bringing in Manning. Even some SBN'ers think so. The Broncos also have the cap space to make a serious run. Should they be interested?

It depends on what you believe the Broncos mindset is right now - March 7, 2012. Let's assume that all the reports on Manning's health are true and that Manning is slinging the ball 'pretty welll' as he stated during the press conference. The Broncos would owe it to themselves to at least place a phone call. Should it go any further?

If you are one of those who believe that John Elway is looking for the quickest escape hatch from the Tim Tebow experience, the answer would be a resounding YES. Could anyone really argue that Tebow should start over a healthy Peyton Manning, even at 80%? Of course not. If Elway and the Broncos are looking for a parachute, Manning would certainly provide it.

Unless, that is, you believe that Elway wants to rid himself of Tebow because he is jealous of the attention he is getting in Denver. You know, the ole' "Elway wants to protect his legacy by ridding himself of the greatest thing since, well, himself". If Elway was envious of Tebow, how about bringing in a guy that many in the NFL World think is actually a better quarterback than Elway was - not any of us, obviously. I guess any attempt at Elway signing Manning would put that silliness to bed for good.

How about this one, and i'll warn you, it doesn't have the 'grassy knoll' subplots that my last two examples do. John Elway, as part of his job with the Denver Broncos, is to do anything he can to improve the team and a Broncos team led by Peyton Manning is better than a Broncos team led by Tim Tebow.

That IS NOT a knock on Tebow, mind you. We're talking about Peyton Manning and if he can provide a team 3 or 4 solid years, well, how do you not do it?

It takes two to tango, of course, and Manning will likely have his choice. But if he were interested, the Broncos should at least kick the tires, no? Maybe, maybe not, but with free agency right around the corner, and once of the biggest quarterback names of the past 15 years about to become available, it sure is fun to talk about.

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