Originally posted on NFL News & Rumors  |  Last updated 3/19/12
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From the moment it was announced that Peyton Manning would be set free from his contract in Indianapolis, the rumors of where he might end up playing next fall began to swirl at gale force speed, gathering strength as he took his first visit to Denver, and never really let up throughout the remainder of the process.

They came to a halt for good earlier this morning, as sources around the league all began to report that Manning had made up his mind and would begin negotiations on a new long term deal with the Broncos, the team that shot to the front of the pack right from the start.

Manning’s contract is expected to be very similar to the one he signed prior to the 2011 season with the Colts, and while Denver will almost certainly have significant protections put into place to prevent them having to pay out the majority of the deal if something disastrous happened in the near future.

As if the news of Manning’s decision was not enough excitement for the Broncos faithful, reports have already begun to filter in of several other key offensive players that are likely to seriously consider signing in Denver, with center Jeff Saturday (Colts), tight end Dallas Clark (Colts), and potentially wide receiver Mike Wallace (Steelers) headlining the remaining free agents on the Broncos radar.

While the Broncos have plenty of cap space with which they can go to work, it’s likely that they’ll focus on upgrading one or two more key positions via free agency, and then build the remainder of their club through the draft.

Manning also seriously considered signing with Tennessee and San Francisco, but eliminated them from the mix today for unknown reasons. All three clubs seemed okay with paying the 36 year old future Hall of Fame quarterback the kind of money he expected and had enough talent to make it worthwhile for Manning to join up in an attempt to win in a hurry.

©2012 NFL News & Rumors. All Rights Reserved.

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