The Peyton Manning sweepstakes continues to consume the NFL world and Denver fans, many of whom are clinging to hope that the Broncos have a legitimate shot at attracting one of the greatest pro quarterbacks this side of John Elway. The latest rumor: The Kansas City Chiefs are pressing hard for Peyton, which may force the Broncos to do likewise.
The source of this buzz appears to be 1510 AM/Mile High Sports Radio host Brandon Spano, who tweeted the following:
BREAKING: Source says that the Chiefs were the ONLY team to offer a completed contract to Peyton Manning today. Says they are most prepared
— Brandon Spano Show (@BrandonSpano) March 9, 2012
This same theme was struck yesterday by former Broncos quarterback Brian Griese during an appearance on 102.3 The Ticket. Griese argued that the prospect of Manning signing with the Chiefs, a Denver division rival who the Broncos must play twice a year, could be devastating. As such, he implied that Elway and company need to come up with a bid attractive enough to prevent Manning from making a new home at Arrowhead Stadium.
Of course, the Chiefs landed an all-time-great QB once before, trading for Joe Montana in 1993. And while he didn't hit the heights he did during his San Francisco glory years, Montana managed to lead the Chiefs to the AFC title game his first year, and the squad returned to the playoffs in 1994, Super Joe's last before retiring in the spring of 1995.
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Yet the Chiefs have the same problem as the Broncos do when it comes to romancing Peyton -- convincing him that they're a brilliant signal-caller away from Super Bowl contention. Yes, Kansas City is only one year removed from a playoff appearance, but last year was a dispiriting mess for the franchise, which wound up turning to Kyle Orton for help -- a sign of desperation if ever there was one.
Even if reports about a formal contract offer are accurate, then, the Chiefs remain a long shot, behind Miami, Washington, the New York Jets and a slew of other outfits. As such, the Broncos need to make decisions that are best for the long-term health of the team rather than reflexively doubling down simply to keep Manning out of Kansas City.
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More from our Sports archive: "Peyton Manning a future Bronco? And is that a pig I see flying?"