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CBS4 Learns Broncos Are Serious Players For Manning

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Peyton Manning attends a press conference announcing Manning's release from the Colts at Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center on March 7, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Joey Foley/Getty Images)

Peyton Manning attends a press conference announcing Manning’s release from the Colts at Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center on March 7, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joey Foley/Getty Images)

DENVER (CBS4) – The Peyton Manning free agency sweepstakes are now in full swing. And the Denver Broncos, even with Tim Tebow on their roster, are serious players in the outcome.

CBS4’s Vic Lombardi has learned through multiple sources close to the situation that the Broncos have already contacted Manning’s agent. The quarterback was released by the Colts on Wednesday after 14 seasons in Indianapolis.

The sources told Lombardi that the Broncos pursuit of Manning is very active and the team could be among the frontrunners to land his services. As many as a dozen teams are believed to be interested in the future Hall of Famer.

Vic Lombardi’s Signature: Broncos And Manning: It Could Happen

Among the reasons cited for Denver standing out in the sweepstakes? Manning has a good relationship with John Elway and John Fox, and the Broncos have a strong running game. The Broncos are also in the AFC, where Manning reportedly wants to stay since his brother Eli plays for the NFC New York Giants. Remaining in separate conferences avoids any chance one brother could eliminate the other in the playoffs before reaching the Super Bowl.

Of course any talk of Peyton Manning joining the Broncos brings up the question of Tim Tebow’s future. According to the sources, the Broncos’ preferred option would be to trade Tebow rather than move him into a backup role behind Manning.

However it’s not a stretch that the Broncos could keep both players. Tebow is due to make $850,000 this coming season, which means paying both quarterbacks is feasible from a financial and salary cap standpoint.

When this saga will play out remains to be seen. The official free agency signing period begins Tuesday March 13. Manning however does not have to wait until then since he was cut by the Colts and can shop his services immediately.

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