What the hell am I going to do with the “Tim Tebow is my homeboy” shirt I got for Christmas? Dammit.
The terms haven’t been released yet, but ESPN also reported that once the deal becomes official, the Broncos will try to trade Tim Tebow. Surely that won’t cause the destruction of humanity.
Manning has instructed his agent Tom Condon to finalize the details of the contract. Mort and Adam Schefter noted that when the four-time MVP’s free agency tour began he discussed the parameters of a possible deal with John Elway, the Broncos’ vice president of football operations. At the time the framework was set at a five-year deal worth $95 million, which would average $19 million annually.
Hey, does anyone remember when Manning’s deal was going to be cautious and incentive-laden? Me neither.
Immediately there will be questions about the legitimacy of Denver’s offense, and if Manning will be stepping into a role in which the uniquely odd system made the quarterback, and the quarterback did little else but function in said flawed system.
To those who ask that question I say this: has Peyton Manning ever been an option quarterback, even before his career-threatening neck injury? No, no he wasn’t, and he never will be. Manning’s place in an option offense is a silly question that requires very little thought. With Manning aboard, John Fox will scrap the Tebow-friendly system just as quickly as he’ll jettison Tebow.
The more pertinent question is, well, why Denver?
We’ve written this repeatedly, and we’ll throw it down once more here for good measure. If Manning’s true goal was to take a few more runs at a championship in the twilight of his career, then San Francisco was easily the best option to accomplish that goal. The 49ers boast a daunting defense that held opposing rushers to just 77.2 yards per game last year and allowed only three rushing touchdowns. Offensively they’re led by Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter, a highly reliable duo who would drastically ease Manning’s burden, and when he was asked to throw there would have been plenty of targets between Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis, and recent additions Randy Moss and Mario Manningham.
There are similarities between the team Manning could have joined in the Bay Area, and the team he is joining in Denver. The Broncos’ defense isn’t nearly as imposing, but it’s still a rising unit that consistently pressured opposing quarterbacks, with Elvis Dumervil and defensive rookie of the year Von Miller combining for 21 sacks. During the height of Tebowmania and Denver’s six-game winning streak, the defense also allowed an average of just 17 points per game.
The problem is the other side of the ball, the side where Manning plays.
Again, Fox will immediately scrap Denver’s option offense, an intention made clear with Tebow now firmly on the trading block. Willis McGahee thrived in that option scheme, and fell just one yard short of a 1,200-yard season. But McGahee is 30 years old and his health is a lingering concern, a criticism that can also be applied to the aging Gore in San Francisco. The difference is that Gore has Hunter behind him, who was a second-round pick just last spring, while McGahee has Lance Ball.
With Eddie Royal gone, the receivers in Denver are also high on upside, but exceedingly low on experience. Both Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas showed promise, and their numbers were dragged down drastically by Tebow’s inability to throw a forward pass. Still, the personnel has far more potential in San Francisco than it does in Denver.
So maybe this was all about money after all, and little else. Or maybe Manning just really likes horses, and teams with nicknames that pay homage to stallions and other barn animals.