Why Denver is interested in Manning

March, 7, 2012
3/07/12
6:15
PM ET
ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting the Denver Broncos will be one of the teams that inquire about Peyton Manning, who is now free to sign with any club.

Denver’s interest makes sense. We wrote Tuesday that we thought the Broncos could be one of the teams to make a play for Manning. ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer said Tuesday he believes Denver, along with Arizona, makes the most sense for Manning.

The fact that the Broncos are going to inquire about Manning doesn’t mean they’ll be big players, but it does show the team has some interest in Manning. Let’s look at some of the factors:

Tim Tebow: The Broncos have said Tebow will go to training camp as the starter. I don’t think their interest in Manning is an indication the Broncos are searching for a reason to get out of their commitment to Tebow. The opportunity to sign Manning is a unique one. I think Manning is one of the few quarterbacks Denver could bring in as its starter this season that wouldn’t cause fan backlash. Everyone would have to understand the reason why he is being brought in. However, if Denver’s pursuit of Manning doesn’t go anywhere, I think the Broncos will still give Tebow this season to prove himself.

Broncos VP John Elway: I knew Elway would be tempted to pursue Manning. Both are legendary quarterbacks. Elway owes it to himself to gauge Manning’s interest in being a Bronco.

Coach John Fox: Fox loves veteran quarterbacks, and he has a very outgoing personality. Players love working for him and he runs a player-friendly show. The defensive specialist would give Manning the keys to the offense.

Supporting cast: Manning could make a major difference on this team. He would benefit from the team's strong running game and the Broncos do have some young receivers and an improving defense. The Broncos would still have to add a receiver or two and a tight end in addition to their other needs. They have room under the salary cap to get better. I don’t think this roster would be a deterrent for Manning.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN San Francisco 49ers reporter

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