Thanks for the Mile High Magic, Tim

Peyton Manning may have very well accomplished the impossible. When the free-agent quarterback decided to join the Denver Broncos on Monday, he sidelined Tebowmania, which had taken over the hearts and minds of Broncos fans near and far.

Manning was being hotly pursued by both the Tennessee Titans and the San Francisco 49ers, but called Broncos Executive Vice President (and a pretty darn good quarterback) John Elway early on Monday morning to tell him he was “looking forward” to playing in the Mile High City.

Manning’s contract was relatively easy to work out. The Broncos initially offered a Manning a five-year, $95-million deal, but the team wanted it structured it in a way that will protect the team should Manning’s neck, which kept him sidelined for the entirety of 2011, becomes a recurring problem. In the end, the deal gives Manning $96 million over the five years.

While the Manning era is just beginning in Denver, Tebow’s future seems to be all but over.

Mike Florio of profootballtalk.com reports that four teams are interested in Tebow – the Jaguars, the Jets, the Packers, and an unknown team.

Jacksonville, whose issues selling tickets have been well documented by this blog, may be most interested in Tebow, because Tebow grew up in the area and won national championships as a Florida Gator, meaning that the Jaguars might actually get a chance to remove the tarps covering the upper bowl of their stadium once and for all. New Jaguars Owner Shahid Kahn has not minced words in his desire to lose the tarps: “To me, everyday I look at the tarps it is like underachieving.”

Manning, to his credit, said that he’d welcome the opportunity to play with Tebow. “I know there are decisions to be made. Let me just say this: I know what kind of player Tim Tebow is and what kind of person he is. I’ve gotten to meet him personally one time, and what an awesome year he had this year. If Tim Tebow is here next year, I’m going to be the best teammate I can be to him and he and I are going to help this team win games. If other opportunities present themselves to him, I’m going to wish him the best. He’s going to be a great player wherever he is.”
For now, it seems likely that that place won’t be Denver. Thanks for bringing back the Mile High Magic, Tim.

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