NFL Rumors: Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos?

Ryan PhillipsContributor IIIMarch 7, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 07:  Peyton Manning attends a press conference announcing Manning's release from the Colts at Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center on March 7, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Joey Foley/Getty Images)
Joey Foley/Getty Images

Here is something to file under the most out of nowhere news of the day: The Denver Broncos will reportedly check in and gauge the possibility of acquiring free agent quarterback Peyton Manning. 

While it is unlikely that the Broncos will actually acquire Manning, the team does have $43.3 million in cap room and could certainly make it happen financially. The fact that they are even potentially interested should raise a few eyebrows, especially since the franchise has had to go out of its way to swear it is committed to Tim Tebow under center.

I think Manning is certainly an upgrade over Tebow, and while the Florida product took the Broncos to the playoffs, the team did go just 8-8 and coach John Fox certainly wouldn't be happy about another mediocre year like that.

Manning to the Broncos is almost surely not going to happen, but the fact that the team is even considering getting in touch with his agent shows just how insecure the team is at quarterback.

Tebow did some nice things in 2011 and even led Denver to an upset in the playoffs over the heavily-favored Pittsburgh Steelers. That said, he has a lot of developing to do before he proves himself as a long-term solution at quarterback. He completed just 46.5 percent of his passes this season and his passer rating of 72.9 ranked 28th out of the 34 quarterbacks who qualified.

Those numbers leave a lot to be desired and the Broncos could certainly do better.

While Manning won't be headed to Denver, I wouldn't be surprised if the Broncos draft a quarterback in April or pick up a veteran signal-caller in free agency.