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If I had written an article a month ago here at Bleacher Report claiming that the Denver Broncos would be the favorites to sign Peyton Manning, I would still be trying to dig out from underneath of avalanche of comments I would have received calling me a moron (at best).
My, how times have changed.
After catching many people off guard with their early and blatant interest in Manning given the presence of fan favorite Tim Tebow under center, the Broncos were also the first team to get Manning in for a visit, meeting with him for six hours Friday evening.
The meeting apparently went so well that Vic Lombardi of CBS 4 TV in Denver got a little carried away with himself, announcing via Twitter Sunday that Manning was all but a Bronco.
Just heard from my peoples. Broncos now 95% confident he'll sign with Denver. Their number, not mine.
— Vic Lombardi (@VicLombardi) March 12, 2012
Lombardi's "peoples" may have led him astray, but there does appear to be significant interest on both sides between the Broncos and Peyton Manning.
Many reporters, including Monte Burke of Forbes, believe that Manning will eventually find his way to the Mile High City, affording John Elway an opportunity to extricate himself from Tim Tebow without causing a fan mutiny.
Elway certainly seemed to warm up to Tebow as the season progressed, but the young scrambling quarterback still clearly not what Elway has in mind as the longterm solution. Signing Manning is a graceful way for him to depart with Tebow.
Then, even if Manning can’t play or gets hurt—and presuming he signs a risk-free contract with the team—Elway will be in the position he has craved from the beginning: He will be able to seek out a quarterback in his own image without looking like he sabotaged the fan favorite.
Odds of Signing Peyton Manning: 5 to 1