As first tweeted out by Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen from ESPN:
As many of my followers on Twitter replied, thank God it’s over.
Where does this leave the teams that were interested? Let’s take a quick look:
Obviously they are the big winners in this entire scenario, winning the rights to the biggest named free agent in NFL history, but what about his fit?
The Broncos missed out on every big name WR in free agency, and now go into the season with Demaryius Thomas as the best WR on their roster.
This will lead to plenty of speculation about Mike Wallace from the Steelers joining Peyton Manning in Denver.
If you are the Broncos you need to get better weapons surrounding Manning, no matter how good he will make the receivers.
Wallace would make a lot of sense as it allows the Broncos to have a big over the top threat, plus allows Thomas to continue to develop into a potential number one receiver.
The signing of Manning will also have the greatest impact on Eric Decker, allowing him to move to the slot, where he is better utilized.
Don’t be surprised to see Jeff Saturday and Dallas Clark follow Manning to Denver, but the most important Post Manning signing for the Broncos has to be Mike Wallace, and giving Manning a reliable, experienced, big play WR.
This is simple, much like the next team on our list will be. The Titans have their QB in place, they were just smart enough to kick the tires, ok maybe it was much more than that, on the Manning mobile and see if they could get him to come to play with the Titans.
Tennessee has already improved their o-line with the signing of Steve Hutchinson, and now they just go back to Matt Hasselbeck, with Jake Locker waiting patiently in the wings.
Outside of Hasselbeck, Chris Johnson has to be the most excited about Manning not coming to Tennessee, as this allows him to continue to be the focal point of the offense.
While the Cardinals were considered dead last Friday when their 1pm deadline to give Kevin Kolb his $7 million signing bonus passed, they are now, like everyone not located in Denver, officially out.
This just means what we already knew going into the off season, it is a battle between Kolb and John Skelton to lead the Cardinals in 2012. May God have mercy on our fan base.
San Francisco 49ers:
The biggest losers? Maybe, maybe not, but they have Colin Kaepernick as the only QB on their roster, and the man that lead them to overtime of the NFC Championship game, Alex Smith is being hosted by other QB needy franchises.
While I have no doubt that Jim Harbaugh is a very good QB coach, I am not sure you want to lose Smith coming off the improbable run he had last season for the 49ers.
San Fran has already made some great off season moves, resigning Carlos Rodgers, getting Mario Manningham, and even taking a risk on Randy Moss, but this is a QB driven league, and no matter how good your running game is, you can’t win unless you have a QB that can take the pressure off that running game.
I know Miami was in the running, but they obviously knew all along that them being listed as favorites meant nothing, as they have had EVERY big free agent quarterback, including Alex Smith, in for a visit.
With the trade of Brandon Marshall I honestly believe they are just looking to start from scratch, and if that means tanking it in new coaches Joe Philbin’s first season, they will, or they have enough confidence at the ninth pick that they can draft Ryan Tannehill and he can be the quarterback of the future.
The great Manning chase has come to an end, and that means no more drama hanging over these five franchises.
Did Denver really win? I guess we will have to wait and see the numbers they give Peyton, and how much is guaranteed, but unless he leads them to a Super Bowl, and this would have been written if he came to the desert as well, they are over paying.
As for the other four teams, all but San Francisco seems to be set at the quarterback position, as even Miami has Matt Moore as their incumbent, and while I am a huge 49ers hater most of the time, it would be absolutely awful for them to lose out on Manning and lose Alex Smith, but that seems to be a real possibility at this point.
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