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The thrill of “Tebow Time” will no longer be associated with the Denver Broncos starting next season.
ESPN writers Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter reported that quarterback Peyton Manning has chosen to play for the Denver Broncos next season, and the Broncos will now likely trade incumbent starting quarterback Tim Tebow.
Despite all of the hype about signing the future hall of famer, I can’t help but feel disappointed about the move.
My first issue is that Manning is coming off a neck injury that kept him out all season, and even he admits that he has not regained all his strength from it. He is also 35 years old now, which is considered old for a football player.
History shows that the best quarterbacks who try to play late into their 30s, especially after an injury, are not guaranteed to succeed. Dan Marino’s play declined towards the end of his career, as did Troy Aikman’s, Joe Namath’s and Brett Favre’s. All of whom dealt with injury in their final years.
The immediate counter-argument is that John Elway helped engineer two super bowl winning seasons, for the Broncos, at the ages of 37 and 38. However, Broncos fans must not let the experience of Elway shroud the risks of taking Manning. Peyton Manning has to recover from major surgery, while Elway never dealt with an injury of that magnitude.
The worst part about Manning’s injury is that it effects the part of the body most essential to a quarterback — his arm. Manning had pinched nerves in his neck that caused pain and weakness in his throwing arm, and it took three surgeries to repair it to the point where he can begin rebuilding his strength.
So why risk picking him up? After all, the Broncos already won their division with Tim Tebow, and it is reported that the Broncos will be paying Manning $96 million dollars over five years. The Broncos should just save the money and try to improve what they have.
That leads to my other problem with signing Manning. Last year’s Broncos team deserves another opportunity to play together. Tebow continues to make strides as a quality passer, the defense consistently played well, and the running game was excellent. Most importantly, though, they were fun to watch.
I’m not even a Broncos fan and I was ready to cheer them on next season. Many of us, who could care less about the Broncos, tuned in each weekend to watch Tebow Time, and it was entertaining. Sure, Manning will draw viewers for a little while, but it was the unconventional system the Broncos employed with Tebow that made them fun. The team scrapped for yards, and whenever a big play was made, it was exciting. That element of being a pleasant surprise will no longer be there with the acquisition of Manning.
The truly sad part about this is I do not believe Tim Tebow will be able to find another job as starting quarterback in the NFL. I don’t anticipate any team being willing to overhaul their offensive scheme for him, or put in the time to develop his quarterbacking skills. Tim Tebow will have to either settle as a backup, or perhaps change positions.
Out of curiosity I will watch the Broncos this year with Peyton Manning, but I will miss the underdog aura that made the Broncos fun to watch last year.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Eddie Quartin at Edward.firstname.lastname@example.org.