DENVER (KDVR) – Denver wins the Peyton Manning Sweepstakes.
Sources tell ESPN that Manning has instructed his agent to begin contract negotiations with the Denver Broncos.
“Peyton Manning called John Elway this morning to tell him he’s looking forward to coming to play for him,” NFL insider Adam Schefter tweeted Monday morning.
The Broncos will now attempt to trade third year quarterback Tim Tebow, Schefter reports.
Manning, 35, spent the past week-and-a-half meeting with several teams publicly and privately, including the Broncos, Arizona Cardinals, Tennessee Titans, San Francisco 49ers and Miami Dolphins.
While he did not speak to the media throughout the interview process, sources close to Manning consistently stated that Denver was at or near the top of his list of possible suitors, in large part because of Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway’s role as team executive vice president.
Over the span of 14 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, who selected him Number 1 overall in the 1998 draft, Manning has amassed astonishing statistics: 399 touchdown passes, nearly 58,000 passing yards and a career completion percentage of 64.9 percent.
He also holds several dozen NFL records, among them:
- Most consecutive seasons with at least 20 touchdown passes: 13
- Most seasons with at least 4,000 passing yards: 11
- Most fourth quarter comeback wins in one season: 7
- Only QB with at least 12 wins as a starter in 7 consecutive seasons
Manning missed the entire 2011 season while recovering from surgery to alleviate neck pain and arm weakness. The Colts released him earlier this month rather than paying him a $28 million bonus.
Barring a trade, Indianapolis is expected to select Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck with the first overall pick in the 2012 draft.