ESPN's Adam Schefter reports free agent Peyton Manning will sign with the Broncos "barring an unexpected snag in contract talks."
According to Schefter, Manning has directed his agent to "get a deal done with Denver." The move should soon become official. It will have wide-ranging effects across the NFL, as Denver is now expected to shop Tim Tebow while free agent Alex Smith will likely re-sign with the 49ers. From a talent standpoint, no team was offering Manning more than San Francisco, but Denver can provide a strong running game, and has a young No. 1 receiver in place in Demaryius Thomas. Outside a dome and without the familiar faces he used to build a machine-like offense in Indy, a 36-year-old Manning shouldn't be expected to match his historic pre-2011 production, but is still a veritable lock for top-five numbers. The move makes Denver the immediate favorites in a weak AFC West, and elevates them into the top two or three teams in the AFC.