The Denver Broncos have a top defense, elite receivers, and are potentially an Eli Manning away from another Super Bowl.
Eli Manning was informed by head coach Ben McAdoo that he would not start this Sunday, effectively ending a 210-game streak. And while Manning choked back tears in front of the media, John Elway was secretly fist-pumping somewhere in his office. Frustrated by another season of dismal quarterback play, Elway must be imagining more short-term glory with another Manning under center.
After finding just enough football left in Peyton, the Broncos may strike gold again with Eli.
There’s really plenty of quality football left in Eli Manning, despite his turning 37 in January. He surprisingly ranks 15th in the NFL in passing yards and 14th in completion percentage among those with 300 attempts. Not exactly Pro Bowl numbers but worth noting because Eli Manning is not the Giants problem. New York has no running back, top receivers lost to injury early, an offensive line that , and a 31st-ranked defense. There’s also an argument the Giants are currently under incompetent management.
The assumption is Eli seeks a final Super Bowl run and isn’t afraid to follow in Peyton’s footsteps for once. At this point it seems all too poetic that Manning, with a chip on his shoulder, would come to Mile High and seek redemption. The Broncos need to improve the offensive line, but can offer him upgrades in all other areas of the field. And speaking of Peyton, could the Broncos ask for a better liaison between Elway and Eli?
With two years remaining on his contract, making Eli a Bronco would obviously take a trade or outright release by the Giants. The Giants cutting him seems more likely due to the $5 million roster bonus before the start of next season. But if the Broncos do seek a trade for Manning, his $10.5 million base salary is very manageable for 2018.
Broncos fans with Baker Mayfield or Josh Rosen draft dreams shouldn’t fret. In the event of an Eli Manning trade, the Giants wouldn’t get much, if anything. The “what’s in it for them?” is sending their future Hall of Fame quarterback to a destination that makes him happy. An Eli trade also doesn’t mean Elway neglects the quarterback position beyond 2019.
Could the 2018 Broncos feature Josh Rosen watching and learning from Eli Manning? It’s very much a possibility. Denver once had a good thing going with Brock Osweiler learning from Peyton Manning. Suffice to say, John Elway is too smart of a football guy to let that situation play out twice.