This is the biggest no brainer of all time. Go sign Peyton Manning.
Manning's mere presence would instantly catapult the Denver Broncos from being a huge rebuilding question mark, to a lock to repeat as AFC West Champions and be in the conversation to contend for the Super Bowl.
Evidence: the 2011 Indianapolis Colts. Even when it was learned that he would miss a substantial amount of time (what ended up being the entire 2011 season), most analyst felt the Colts would be "fine" without Manning, citing the assembled "talent" the Colts had at the skill positions.
However, without Manning, that talent showed its true colors, and Indy wound up winning the Andrew Luck Sweepstakes. Imagine the impact Manning could have on a Denver Broncos team that boast a similar set of skill players — talented, but raw and largely undeveloped.
Would there be question marks surrounding this move? Certainly. The biggest of which is Manning's health. If reports are true that he is having difficulty throwing the ball over 20 yards, has lost all velocity and is unable to look and throw to his left, that is a serious problem.
The Broncos will have to be vigilant in assessing Manning's health before finalizing a deal to bring him to Denver. However, one overshadowing benefit is the fact that Manning does not have to come in and be the starter right away. With Tim Tebow already named the 2012 starting quarterback, Manning would have ample time to fully recover and be 100 percent game-ready before taking the field. No doubt Manning wants to go somewhere to be the starting quarterback (not sitting on the sidelines and nurturing a young, developing Tebow), but in Denver he would not be rushed into doing so.
No.18 is one of three numbers the Denver Broncos have retired. Should Manning sign with Denver, what number should he wear?
In the meantime, he could be a very capable quarterback mentor for Tebow. Who better than a surefire Hall of Famer to consult with after every snap in training camp, every drive on the sidelines, every game in the film room? The amount of benefits Tim Tebow could reap from this partnership would be limitless.
Even if it costs him playing time in 2012 or 2013, it would be time off well spent. If Tim Tebow, surrounded by both Peyton Manning and John Elway on a daily basis, is still unable to blossom into a bonafid starting NFL quarterback, there will be nothing more to say. However, given his dedication and work ethic, this would be the perfect recipe for Tebow's continued development.
So what's in it for Peyton? A ring, ideally. In the same way that Executive Vice President John Elway went out on top, Manning could be the key ingredient to a back-to-back ride off into the sunset. And if the Broncos, who have a serious amount of cap room, are also able to land a top-tier free-agent wideout — Vincent Jackson (a Northern Colorado grad) or Reggie Wayne or Marquis Colston — they would have the necessary firepower on offense. Add to that a defense-heavy 2012 draft class to compliment defensive playmakers Von Miller, Elvis Dumervil and Champ Bailey, and the Broncos would be in the center of the conversation for contention.
This move just makes too much sense. After all, what's better than having a national media lightning-rod for a quarterback? Having two national media lightning-rod quarterbacks.
Welcome to Denver, Mr. Manning. Take a nice, deep breath of Rocky Mountain Air.