Shortly after tweeting the news, Mortensen said during a call-in appearance on SportsCenter that Manning's agent, Tom Condon, will now "commence the intense part of negotiations." ESPN's Adam Schefter also tweeted that Manning has informed other teams of his decision.
Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com confirms Mortenson's ESPN report, describing the negotiations remaining as merely a "formality." In a co-authored report on ESPN.com, Mortenson and Schefter report that only "a snag during intensified contract negotiations" will prevent Manning from joining the reigning AFC West champions.
Upon parting ways with the Indianapolis Colts after 14 seasons, the four-time NFL MVP made his first free agent visit to Denver, spending several hours with Broncos exec and legend John Elway, head coach John Fox and other team officials.
After visiting the Broncos, Manning traveled to Arizona to meet with the Cardinals. Prominent among the other suitors for Manning were the Dolphins and Titans. The 49ers were a late entry in the Manning derby but were reportedly serious contenders in the days before Manning reportedly made his decision.
The arrival of Manning and Denver would create a logjam atop the QB depth chart, as fan favorite Tim Tebow led the Broncos to the postseason this past season. ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted that the Broncos will try to trade Tebow.
Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk had previously reported that the Broncos planned to trade Tebow if they were able to land Manning via free agency.
Speaking to The Huffington Post ahead of Super Bowl XLVI, Broncos linebacker Von Miller was open to the possibility of Manning joining his team.
"I trust John Elway with everything," said the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year. He put our team in an incredible situation this year and if he did that then I'd ride with him and it would be a good lift for Broncos Nation."
According to Jay Glazer of Fox Sports, the overall numbers of any agreement being negotiated between the Broncos and Manning's agent were previously agreed to during the quarterback's visit. Glazer tweets, "Getting financials done is easy. They told him in that first visit at dinner they could offer 95 mil over 5 years."
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