ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) Peyton Manning‘s appeal is already paying off.
The Broncos lured two key free agents to Denver on Thursday, including cornerback Tracy Porter, who picked off one of Peyton Manning‘s passes in the New Orleans Saints’ win over the Indianapolis Colts in the Super Bowl three years ago.
Now, both will try to win a second Super Bowl together with the Broncos.
Porter spent his first four seasons in New Orleans, collecting seven interceptions, 37 pass deflections, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. He also started six playoff games, and the highlight of his career is a 74-yard interception return for a TD in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl that denied Manning a second championship.
Porter was a second-round draft pick of the Saints in 2008 after a standout career at Indiana. He will start opposite perennial Pro Bowler Champ Bailey in Denver.
Free agent receiver Andre Caldwell also signed with the Broncos 48 hours after Manning’s arrival.
“He gets the best out of the receivers,” said Caldwell, who spent the last four seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals. “That’s a big reason why I came.”
Before acquiring Manning, there were concerns that maybe receivers would be reticent to come to Denver and play with a run-oriented quarterback in Tim Tebow.
Not so with Manning, the only four-time MVP in league history. Caldwell began talking with the Broncos just before news broke that Manning was coming on board.
Once it happened “everything heated up,” Caldwell said. “I was all on board after they signed Peyton.”
The Broncos are anticipating that Manning’s magnetism will actually give them a crack at more of the top free agents on the open market. His aura certainly drew in Caldwell.
“He’s a veteran quarterback who knows how to win games,” Caldwell said. “He knows how to put players in positions to be their best.”
And if Tebow would’ve still been the starter?
“Everybody knows with Tebow, they were more of a running-style team,” Caldwell said. “They didn’t spread the ball around as much. (Manning) was a major impact.”
Still, Caldwell was hoping to reunite with Tebow in some capacity in the Mile High City, especially after the tandem developed a connection during their days at the University of Florida.
As Caldwell arrived in Denver, Tebow was shipping out and taking his act to Broadway. The New York Jets acquired the unorthodox quarterback from Denver for draft picks on Wednesday night.
“Tebow is a good friend of mine,” Caldwell said. “I would’ve loved to have been here with him. But I know how this game goes.
“I can’t be mad playing with Peyton Manning.”
Now, the work really begins. Caldwell realizes Manning is notorious for his work ethic and expects – no, demands – the same commitment out of his receivers.
“He’s a workaholic. He’s likes to study film, likes to go out there and throw, likes to get better every day,” Caldwell said. “There’s nothing easy about it. He’s going to work his tail off. That’s what I’m ready for.”
By PAT GRAHAM, AP Sports Writer … AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton contributed to this report.
(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)