DENVER (CBS4) – Peyton Manning has chosen to play with the Denver Broncos next season.
Although all the final details haven’t been reached on the contract, the Broncos will pay Manning $90 million plus with at least half that in guarantees, CBS4′s Vic Lombardi reports.
“There are a lot of different factors, but it was all about relationships. He came to Denver first — this was the first place he visited. John Elway was his childhood idol,” Lombardi said. “John Fox is a defensive minded coach who is much like his old coach when he won a Super Bowl in Indianapolis — Tony Dungy. Fox who will allow him to run of the offense, literally. There aren’t many quarterbacks that can do that. Manning can do that.”
Lombardi reports that the Broncos will now be looking to trade quarterback Tim Tebow.
“I know the Broncos have been in contact with at least three teams regarding Tebow. Despite what people think, there is a market for him,” Lombardi wrote on his Twitter account.
“According to sources inside the Broncos, the building at Dove Valley is going nuts. They’re celebrating big time. What a coup by John Elway. … The Broncos won him over with Elway and Fox. End of story. They won him over,” Lombardi Tweeted.
“Manning Watch” dominated headlines in Denver last week. Even President Barack Obama weighed in during an interview with CBS4 at the White House.
“Do you think Manning is going to play for the Broncos?” CBS4′s Karen Leigh asked the president during their interview in the Cabinet Room.
Obama replied: “Peyton Manning is one of the best of all time and anybody would be lucky to have him. I know the Broncos are going after him pretty hard. We’ll see. If natural beauty has anything to do with it, then I’m sure Denver will do pretty well.”
The hoopla started after the quarterback first flew to Colorado and met with the Broncos on March 9. That was two days after being released by Indianapolis in a roster restructuring move.
Meetings with several other teams followed, but CBS4 continually reported that the Broncos were Manning’s likely first choice throughout the proceedings.
Denver sports marketer Dan Price, president of Adrenaline Inc., told CBS4 last week that despite Tebow’s incredible popularity, John Elway, John Fox and other executives with the Broncos were right to be going after Manning, a future Hall of Famer.
“As a franchise you owe it to your season ticket holders to do whatever you have to do to win,” Price said.
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Winning is everything in pro sports. It’s what teams market. That’s not to take away the heart-stopping wins engineered by Tebow last season. But Manning’s skills are thought to be enough to get the Broncos where they want to be right away.
“His whole personality is based on wins and how successful he’s been throughout his career,” said Price. “The Broncos are banking on this guy coming in here, not to win playoff games, but to win a Super Bowl.”