It would appear that one of the biggest free agent frenzies in NFL history has come to a close. Peyton Manning was expected to make a decision on his future rather quickly, and it took him less than two weeks to make up his mind. Manning has reportedly instructed his agent to complete contract negotiations with the Denver Broncos.
With the 49ers having emerged as another suitor for Manning late last week and speculation that Peyton would not want to play in a cold-weather city, San Francisco seemed like a perfect fit. However, Manning must have fully bought into what John Elway was selling. He also has reportedly passed his physical exam with every team he visited, so contrary to popular belief the four-time MVP’s health is not a major concern.
The Broncos will now almost certainly turn their attention to signing free agent center Jeff Saturday, which would give Peyton some familiarity in a new situation. They will also look to add a few more pieces to an offense that will look far different with Manning under center than it did with Tim Tebow. Now that Manning has decided on a team, it will be interesting to see how two story lines play out over the course of the week: Which teams are interested in Tebow and whether or not Alex Smith will return to the Niners.
As for Tebow, the Jaguars have been widely believed to make the most sense over the past couple weeks. They’re in desperate need of a quarterback and in even worse need of selling tickets. That being said, there are a number of teams around the league who need quarterbacks and would welcome the marketing monster that is Tebowmania.
Over the weekend, Smith was reportedly upset with the Niners and negotiating with the Dolphins. The best case scenario for San Francisco would be for Smith to understand that they had no choice but to kick the tires on Manning and return to the team. Otherwise, the Niners could be at risk of taking a small step backward if they have to turn to Colin Kaepernick next season.Google+