Just three days after eliminating the Arizona Cardinals as a free agent possibility, Peyton Manning has made his decision.
According to Chris Mortensen of ESPN, Manning has chosen to sign with the Denver Broncos.
Manning to Broncos...more coming on Espn— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) March 19, 2012
Then, ESPN insider Adam Schefter jumped into the fray as well...
Peyton Manning called John Elway this morning to tell him he's looking forward to coming to play for him.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 19, 2012
Manning had five teams on his radar at one point or another after being released by the Indianapolis Colts on March 7.
The future Hall of Fame quarterback visited the Broncos first, followed by a visit to Arizona and the Cardinals just a day later. He also visited with the Miami Dolphins and Tennessee Titans and had a secret workout with the San Francisco 49ers all before making his intentions known Monday morning.
In fact, according to Schefter, Manning was very close to choosing the 49ers.
"Peyton Manning's head was telling him the San Francsico 49ers, but his heart was telling him the Denver Broncos," he said on ESPN's Sportscenter. "That ultimately is what he decided."
Schefter added that Manning loved the idea of playing for the 49ers, but decided he did not want to change conferences and go to the NFC.
Manning missed the entire 2011 campaign as he recovered from four separate surgeries on his neck. Without him, the Colts went 2-14 and have the number one pick in April's NFL Draft, with which they are expected to take Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck.
With Denver being the choice, trade talks are expected to begin immediately surrounding Tim Tebow, who led the Broncos during a 6-game winning streak, an AFC West title and a playoff win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2011.