Peyton Manning will become the next quarterback of the Denver Broncos, barring a snag during intensified contract negotiations that have commenced under the instruction of the four-time MVP to his agent Tom Condon, according to multiple sources.
Once the Manning deal becomes official, Denver will try to trade Tim Tebow, according to sources.
Manning instructed Condon to negotiate the finite details of a contract that would conclude with him joining the Broncos after a frenzied but focused process that began when the Indianapolis Colts released him March 7.
Manning called Broncos vice president of football operations John Elway on Monday morning to tell him the news. Manning also called the San Francisco 49ers and Tennessee Titans to inform them of his intent to now play for Denver.
“I was hoping we would win out,” Titans owner Bud Adams told the Tennessean after Manning informed the team of his decision. “I thought we’d be ahead of Denver. I thought he’d want to stay in Tennessee.”
A contract between Manning and the Broncos is expected to be a formality. Elway and Manning first discussed the parameters of a five-year, $95 million contract during their March 9 meeting in Denver, the first time the quarterback visited a team during his free agency.
Elway then told Manning during the Friday, March 16 trip to Durham, N.C. — where the quarterback has done the majority of his training — that he wanted to finalize a contract “fair to both sides.” Neither side expects any hangups.
However, details such as guaranteed money, structure of the deal and contract language designed to protect the Broncos in the event of Manning’s inability to perform due to his prior neck surgeries all will be addressed in the contract, sources said.
Yet the Broncos have few concerns with Manning’s medical condition. He already passed the physical exam that a team of Broncos doctors administered during the visit to Durham, a development that Elway informed Manning of when he returned home to Denver that night.
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Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter