And so it ends…
According to various media outlets, it looks like Peyton Manning will be joining the Mile High Club and joining the Denver Broncos for the 2012 season, putting an end to the TMZ-esque coverage we’ve all had to endure over the past few weeks. I love Manning, but I feel like I just got to stop using heavy dosages of Preparation H after a three-week stint in Mexico.
I checked out a poll on ESPN and 45-percent of the nation thinks Manning will lead the Broncos to a Super Bowl this year. That’s a shocking number, even for one of the greatest signal callers of all time. He won one Super Bowl with the Colts in the same conference – with a better team around him – in his entire career. Understandably the hyperbole machine is in full gear, but the Broncos have some building to do before we talk Super Bowl. Playoffs on the other hand are very attainable and they could go deep; although God will not be helping them out in the fourth quarter once Tim Tebow is traded.
Manning will have Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker to throw the ball to in Denver. Thomas is a big, 6-foot-3, 229-pound receiver with lights out speed that can stretch the field and make some outstanding catches. Decker is also another big guy at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds. These aren’t really the targets Manning was used to in Indy. He had route-runners that picked up yards after the catch. Also, there was an excellent chemistry there. I’m sure he’ll get right to work with those two young kids.
If I were Denver I’d be focusing heavily on adding a third quality receiver and also upgrading the tight end position with a move guy.
The receiver I’d go after is Mike Wallace, giving away my 1st round pick and blowing the Steelers out of the water on the offer. If you’re going to go, go big. It’s the 25th pick and frankly, Wallace is an outstanding player.
Both Jacob Tamme and Dallas Clark who played with Manning in Indianapolis are available in free agency. Clark got hit by the injury bug and is older, but he still has gas left in the tank. In 2010, Tamme took over for the injured Clark for the last 8 games of the season and caught 67 passes for 631 yards and four touchdowns. I’ll take those numbers any day.
Apparently the Broncos are already looking into signing Jeff Saturday to play center for them. Great move. It makes Peyton comfortable and gives you a leader for your offensive line where you already have an outstanding left tackle in Ryan Clady. It also fixes the issue of J.D. Walton who did not play well last year.
The Broncos have their issues like any other team and could use some help along the line, at corner and maybe some upgrades at MIKE or running back, but Manning was a huge pick up.
Perhaps the most interesting part of this signing will be to see how Manning and Elway get along. I loved John Elway – the man was awesome to watch – but I wonder how hands off he’ll be with Peyton. Elway has already shown he’s not afraid to make some big moves and I doubt Peyton wants someone in his ear.
I’m guessing that John will just let Peyton do his thing.