|Tebowmania isn't enough to keep Denver from inquiring about Manning. (Getty Images)|
By Ryan Wilson
The Cardinals, Dolphins and Redskins are the early favorites for Peyton Manning's services, but there are other teams in the running, too. The Jets and Seahawks have expressed interest, and the Broncos, fresh off a season's worth of Tebowmania, could do so as well.
|Manning era ends in Indy|
"The Broncos are expected to place a phone call to Manning's agent, Tom Condon, to gauge their chances, according to an NFL source close to the situation. If Manning's contract can be structured so that the team would be protected in case Manning's troublesome neck becomes an issue, the Broncos could well be players."
Put differently: we were right to be skeptical when John Elway and John Fox proclaimed after the 2011 season that Tim Tebow would head into training camp as Denver's starter. That could still hold, of course -- landing Manning is a longshot, particularly given Fox's run-run-run-punt offensive philosophy.
And the other free-agent QB options aren't particularly appealing: names like Matt Flynn, Chad Henne, and Jason Campbell are either unproven or not an upgrade over Tebow. Not only that, what quarterback looking to start would step in front of the buzz saw that is Tebow's rabid fan base? They ran Orton out of the lineup after a 1-4 start, and eventually out of town. Plus, it would mean revamping the offense again, something that would only make sense if the Broncos landed someone like, say, Manning.
Klis points to two other reasons why Manning-to-Mile High doesn't seem likely:
His age, he turns 36 later this month, coupled with the fact he didn't play last year because of multiple neck surgeries makes him an enormous risk.Whatever your thoughts on Tebow, prototypical NFL quarterback, there's no denying what he helped the Broncos accomplish last season. That, and tepid interest from Manning as other teams clamor for his services, means that Tebow's job is safe … for now.
And the risk will be financially huge by the time Mike Shanahan's Washington Redskins, as well as the Miami Dolphins, Seattle Seahawks, New York Jets, Arizona Cardinals and possibly the Kansas City Chiefs engage in a bidding war.
Another reason the Broncos might not get in a serious bidding war would be the presence of Tebow. By wobble or by will, Tebow took the worst team in football — and that's exactly what their 7-24 record dating back to Nov. 1, 2009 made the Broncos, the NFL's worst team during that span — and helped lead them to the playoffs and a first-round upset of Pittsburgh this past season.
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