Broncos will sign Manning

DENVER — The Broncos got their Man — Peyton Manning.

Pending final contract negotiations, Manning will join John Elway's Broncos with hopes of winning another Super Bowl.

So much for Tebowmania.

Still to be decided is what happens to last season's quarterback sensation, former Florida star Tim Tebow.

The Broncos and Manning agent Tom Condon spent Monday working out parameters of a deal expected to be worth about $95 million over five years after the NFL's only four-time MVP called Elway, the Broncos' revered QB-turned-executive, and told him he had decided to come to Denver.

Titans owner Bud Adams also said Manning let him know that he had picked the Broncos. Adams released a statement confirming the Titans were out of the running and told the Tennessean: "He called me himself and told me he wasn't coming, that he made his mind up to go with Denver."

Besides the Titans, the 49ers had been a finalist to get Manning, who turns 36 on Saturday and missed 2011 because of multiple neck surgeries. It seems likely the 49ers will now keep Alex Smith and work out a new deal with him.

ESPN first reported Manning told his agent to negotiate the details of a deal with Denver, less than two weeks after the Colts released him rather than pay a $28 million bonus.

"I think it's a great place for him," Broncos defensive end Robert Ayers said. "I don't think he made a bad decision. I think he made a great decision."

Despite missing last season, Manning's success — the Colts averaged a 12-4 record from 2001-10 — made him perhaps the most desired free agent ever.

He was wooed to Denver by Hall of Fame quarterback Elway, who led the Broncos to two Super Bowls and is now vice president of football operations.

Elway never sounded all that convinced Tebow was the answer at the sport's most important position and now could trade the enormously popular but flawed QB.

Tebow energized the Broncos in leading them to the playoffs last season but was erratic.

Bucs re-sign Bennett

Defensive end Michael Bennett signed a restricted free agent tender Monday to remain with the Bucs for $2.7 million next season. Tampa Bay had placed a first-round tender on Bennett, essentially protecting the team with first-round pick compensation from any team that signed him to a competing contract. Last season Bennett, 26, had four sacks in 14 games (10 starts).

Around the league

BENGALS: The team signed free agent cornerback Jason Allen from Houston and agreed to a four-year deal to keep safety Reggie Nelson, a former UF star.

CHIEFS: Right tackle Eric Winston, cut by the Texans, signed a $22 million, four-year free agent deal. Also, former first-round pick Brady Quinn was signed to back up quarterback Matt Cassel.

COWBOYS: Guard Kyle Kosier, a 10-year veteran, was released.

DOLPHINS: The team agreed to a one-year deal with former Jaguars quarterback David Garrard, 34, who was out of football last season and is coming off of back surgery. He said he was told he would compete to start.

JETS: Free agent safety LaRon Landry signed a one-year deal; ESPN reported it was for $4 million. Landry finished last season for Washington on injured reserve with an injured left Achilles' tendon.

LIONS: Punter Ben Graham re-signed to a one-year contract.

PANTHERS: Free agent running back Mike Tolbert, who had been mentioned as a possible target for the Bucs, signed a four-year contract. Tolbert's agent, Joel Turner, said his client left more than $1 million on the table on an offer to remain in San Diego.

PATRIOTS: Receiver Donte' Stallworth agreed to a one-year deal to return, AP reported. The team also signed two free agents, defensive end Trevor Scott and cornerback Marquice Cole. And NFL Network reported that the team agreed to terms on a deal with guard Roberty Gallery.

RAMS: Pro Bowl center Scott Wells left the Packers to join the rebuilding effort in St. Louis, signing a four-year contract for a reported $24 million with $13 million guaranteed.

STEELERS: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that running back Rashard Mendenhall, who tore his right ACL in the regular-season finale, might not play in 2012.

Times staff writer Stephen F. Holder contributed to this report.

Broncos will sign Manning 03/19/12 [Last modified: Monday, March 19, 2012 11:23pm]

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