Manning to Broncos-Is Tebow Out?

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Manning to Broncos-Is Tebow Out?

The Denver Broncos and Petyon Manning reached agreement on a five-year, $96 million contract on Tuesday, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

A source told ESPN business analyst Andrew Brandt that Manning will be paid $18 million in 2012. He will be paid $40 million over the 2013 and '14 seasons if he passes a team physical to be given 10 days before the start of the 2013 league year. There is an injury waiver included in the contract, covering Manning's surgically repaired neck. If he re-injures the neck during the 2013 season, the Broncos will not have to pay his 2014 salary. He is scheduled to make $19 million in both '15 and '16, but must pass a physical before each league year.

Manning will be introduced as the Broncos' new starting quarterback at a 3 p.m. ET news conference.

The Broncos now will attempt to trade quarterback Tim Tebow, sources told ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortenesen and Schefter.

Manning was wooed to Denver by John Elway, the Hall of Fame quarterback who led the Broncos to two Super Bowl titles in the late 1990s and now serves as their vice president of football operations. Elway never sounded all that convinced Tebow was the answer at the league's most important position, and could trade the hugely popular quarterback who energized the Broncos in a run to the playoffs last season but was plagued by erratic play.

Manning turns 36 on Saturday and missed all of last season because of multiple neck operations, which made him expendable to the rebuilding Indianapolis Colts. They cut him March 7 rather than pay a $28 million bonus.

The Broncos, however, 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.

Manning also passed physical exams by San Francisco and Tennessee but he has told all teams that he still has gains to achieve in terms of arm strength and endurance that are related to nerve regeneration due to his neck injury.

Colts owner Jim Irsay wished Manning the best with his new team in a statement released Tuesday.

"I congratulate Peyton as he heads to a tremendous organization in the Denver Broncos. We wish him nothing but the best as he continues his Hall of Fame career," Irsay said.

Manning's arrival will set in motion a string of personnel moves for the Broncos. Denver has had a free-agent plan strictly for if the team was able to sign Manning. The two sides now will pursue other players to bolster the roster, some of whom will be familiar to Manning.

One interesting player is former Colts center Jeff Saturday, whom Manning has always endorsed as invaluable to his own performance. A source said discussions related to Saturday, who was Manning's center with the Colts for 12 years, involved evaluations by all three teams' personnel and coaching staffs on whether he would be a logical fit. However, Manning did not mandate that he and Saturday would have to be a package deal, sources said.

Saturday was supposed to visit the Green Bay Packers and Tennessee, but Denver will have great allure due to Manning's arrival.

Under terms of the new collective bargaining agreement, Manning is not allowed to engage in classroom football discussions with the coaching staff until April 16.

He will not be allowed to use the team's football field under the supervision and instruction of the coaching staff until May 2. Any throwing sessions under the supervision of trainers that are considered part of his rehab may not involve current Broncos receivers until April 16. He can throw independently with Denver receivers without coaching supervision or instruction but it must be away from the facility until the allowable voluntary window opens per the CBA.

Tebow took over a 1-4 team from Kyle Orton last year and led the Broncos to an 8-8 finish and the AFC West crown with a series of stirring comebacks that captured the attention of the NFL and beyond.

Tebowmania reached its apex in the playoffs, when he threw an 80-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas on the very first play of overtime to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers. The next week, though, Tebow was smothered by the New England Patriots, who routed the Broncos 45-10.

Afterward, Elway declared Tebow was the Broncos' starting quarterback heading into training camp this summer but said the left-hander would have to improve his flawed mechanics and footwork to win the job heading into the season.

He also said he'd spend time tutoring Tebow himself and would add more quarterback competition through the draft and free agency.

Several Broncos predicted the free agency floodgates will swing wide open once Manning officially joins the team.

"I think we'll sign some guys, probably a few guys, like Dallas Clark, Jeff Saturday, guys waiting to see what Peyton was going to do," Broncos defensive end Robert Ayers said. "Defensive guys want to play with a lead, and I'm pretty sure guys are going to assume Peyton will put up points in this offense. We have some weapons."

With Manning joining the Broncos, oddsmakers in Las Vegas immediately made Denver one of the top choices to win the Super Bowl next season, which will be played in Manning's hometown of New Orleans.

ESPN.com news services

Information from ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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