Depending on which piece of speculation assaults your computer screen at any given moment, the Broncos are either a potential player in Peyton Manning’s free agency, or they’re a fringe dark horse and an afterthought.

Mike Klis of the Denver Post would like you to know that Denver is indeed interested, and they’ll be dialing the required digits to speak with Tom Condon, Manning’s agent.

Here’s your detonation device, Mike. Now please press the shiny red button and watch as the Tebowmania cult explodes into a fit of anger and rage:

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.

The Broncos have roughly $22 million in cap space, and Manning will likely command a salary somewhere in the neighborhood of $10 million annually. So logistically and financially there’s room, and there’s also a need because Brady Quinn is set to leave as a free agent, and there’s no way in hell Manning could climb up any quarterback depth chart with Quinn blocking his path. Game over.

There’s little doubt that John Elway would want Manning, because the team’s vice president of football operations has little patience for Tim Tebow, and a quarterback who completed only 46.5 percent of his passes in 2011 with a passer rating of 72.9. John Elway wants a quarterback who’s like John Elway, a passer who can stand firm and throw a tight spiral from the pocket.

Manning certainly fits that description. Those with their homer blinders tightly fastened will continue to cite the highly flawed quarterback “wins” statistic, and Tebow’s miracle run of six straight wins this past season that catapulted the Broncos into playoff contention. That accomplishment was rooted in a gimmick option offense, a system with a questionable long-term NFL life, especially next fall after teams have had a offseason when they’re not barred from facilities to study film.

Yet the realistic odds of Denver landing Manning still remain slim, as his price tag will likely rise quickly, and the Broncos will be out-bid by teams with a far greater need at the position (Washington, Miami, Arizona).

But we can dream, because the implosion that will take place in Denver if #Tebowtime is triumphantly killed by a quarterback who hasn’t played competitive football in over a year will be spectacular.

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