Manning is one of the most accomplished players in the history of the sport. And with his latest workout at Duke University, he looks well recovered from his anterior spinal fusion surgery which sidelined him for all of 2011.
As a Chiefs fan, I confess that I've become optimistic that Manning will play again and could do so in a Kansas City jersey. Matt Cassel hasn't performed as well as many hoped, and inserting a healthy Manning into the lineup would seem the perfect recipe for an AFC West title and deep playoff run.
The Broncos could derail that design by beating the Chiefs to the punch, so I ask that they provide a consolation prize instead.
Let us have Tim Tebow.
The Broncos will play host to the last hurrah of one of the best ever to play the game. Denver fans will watch in awe as Manning adjusts his entire offense before the snap for a completion to Eric Decker while the new Orange Crush manhandle opponents and provide the short field.
So let the Chiefs deal with Tebow's neanderthal throwing motion and high-arching passes. Make Kansas City suffer through constant "give glory to God and my teammates" post-game interviews, Tebowing and all things that come with Tebowmania.
Because apparently, John Elway believes those things outweigh what Tebow does for his team and for Denver.
Nevermind that Tebow will likely compete every year for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. Set aside the constant humanitarian and charity efforts he seems to fill his life off the field with, or the fanaticism his personality engenders in people.
Tebow certainly didn't win Denver's eight games by himself. A resurgent Broncos defense often put the team into a positive situation, and covered many of Tebow's shortcomings on offense.
But when the it's the fourth quarter and the game is on the line, Tebow galvanized his team into a precision instrument. He led the Broncos on game-winning drives seven times last season, including an overtime playoff victory that left Steelers and Broncos fans alike dumbstruck.
The Broncos apparently think a couple years with Manning is better though, and they might be right. A healthy Manning would upgrade almost any team.
But choosing Manning over Tebow would be a big mistake in the long run. Tebow is a healthy, athletic player with all the tools to succeed for many years. Everything that can't be taught, Tebow has in spades.
He only lacks for the right system and the right teacher, and Denver should be the place best-suited to provide that. Jake Plummer wrote the book on naked bootlegs while in Denver, and would be ideal for a quick and agile Tebow.
And the Broncos should have welcomed an athletic quarterback like Tebow with open arms. Denver played host to one of the most athletic quarterbacks in history before, and won two Super Bowls with him.
Now that same quarterback instead undermines the first player since who could be most like him. Elway has waffled on Tebow every step of the way, and now looks set to replace him entirely.
So let Kansas City handle Denver's discards. We'll gladly take him and his seven game-winning drives per season off your hands.