Peyton Manning’s costly decision to sign with Denver Broncos

Peyton Mannings costly decision to sign with Denver Broncos

Nicholas Fuller



Whenever a high profile athlete signs with a new team in any sport, the pressure that instills is often too much for the player to handle.  The expectation and demand for the superstar to perform is often overwhelming in contrast with their old team.  In the most cases, these athletes struggle to meet these expectations; yet, every year franchises do the same thing . . .

Peyton Manning was offered a five year 96 million dollar contract last weekend; an offer which would make him the highest payed quarterback in the NFL.  On Monday, April 19th, Manning announced his much anticipated decision in “The Peyton Manning Sweepstakes”.  This sweepstakes included inaccurate speculation and visits Peyton made which were highly covered and greatly anticipated.  As one of the most high profile free agents in NFL history, Manning did not disappoint.

He chose the Denver Broncos, who went 8-8 this past season, won the AFC West, beat the steelers in the playoffs, and had a crazy roller coaster season behind Tim Tebow. Tebow, one of the most polarizing yet admirable figures in sports today, lead the Broncos to many victories but also carried alot of baggage, leading the Broncos to ship him off to New York.

Obviously, the Broncos wanted Peyton; but why did Peyton want the “Denver drama”?  Smartly enough, the Broncos are dumping one year wonder Tim Tebow to the Jets, as his prescence alone would intimidate any quarterback (even Peyton), but for Manning, this decision is slightly unexpected and also very risky for the future hall of famer.  Obviously, signing with a new team always has its potential risks along with potential rewards, but Denver is an extremely risky place to go because of inexperience in management.

John Elway, a retired hall of fame quarterback and the current executive vice president of football operations for the Denver Broncos, got his guy.  For Manning, however, he must be aware that John Elway has a very unproven business side in relation to football.  Along with that, the way the Broncos organization handled Tebowmania last year was very weak and wishy washy.  The Broncos folded to public pressure often and never stated specifically their position on the future of Tebow.  Nevertheless, Manning and Elway could build a strong winning relationship together, but if they do not, the weight of the world will fall flat on their faces.

As for Manning, why Denver over some of the other teams?  The 49ers for Manning made sense, as they went 13-3 last year with Alex Smith as their quarterback, and the Titans also showed an impressive record.  Playing college ball at Tennessee helped Manning become a beloved figure in the state.  If he had chosen the Titans, he would virtually have nothing to lose.  Even Arizona would have been a good choice because of  the team’s strong wide receivers and a past with Kurt Warner which created a super bowl appearence for them, and what if Manning did the same thing Warner did?

Logically, the decision to go to Denver for Peyton does make some sense.  He wanted to stay in the AFC because of his familiarity with the teams in that conference.  Along with that, on paper, the AFC West is a rather weak division.  On paper, the Broncos should win this division with Peyton; yet, some doubt still arises.  However weak the conference may seem, in reality, it is an extremely competitive division filled with teams with lots of potential.  The other teams in the division are the Chargers, Raiders, and Chiefs.  Last year, these teams went 8-8, 8-8, and 7-9.  The gap between first and last was one game, and the third place and first place team had identical records.  The Broncos will not win the AFC West easily; if they win it at all, as another team from that division could easily emerge from mediocrity.

Perhaps you ask, who else from that division could beat the new Broncos with Manning? The answer to that question really is any team, as new teams emerge every season, but right now it would be the San Diego Chargers. Norv Turner’s superchargers have underperformed the past two seasons, not making the post season with 9-7 and 8-8 record’s.  Despite this, Phillip Rivers (the team’s quarterback) interestingly enough has been very successful against Peyton in his career, going 2-0 against him in the playoffs and winning basically all of the regular season head to head matchups.

Conclusively, the Broncos are a young and inexperienced team, but will Manning be the stabalizer?  Only time will tell, as Manning has lots of work to do with his new team.  In the end, however, don’t expect number 18 to do anything wonderfully magical with his new team.  The Broncos may make the playoffs, but the new pressure put on this organization will probably be to much for the team, and even Peyton, to handle.