After nearly two weeks of being trailed by the pigskin paparazzi, Peyton Manning has picked a team.
According to ESPN, Manning has informed teams that he plans to join the Denver Broncos. Unless there is an unexpected snag in negotiations, Manning will be Denver’s starting quarterback in 2012.
The 2012 schedule won’t be released until next month, but we do know the Ravens’ opponents for the upcoming season. And at some point, Manning and the Broncos will come to M&T Bank Stadium.
Manning, of course, tormented the Ravens when he was the quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts. He was 6-2 in eight regular-seasons starts against the Ravens, completing 65.1 percent of his passes for 17 touchdowns against five interceptions. Manning and the Colts were 2-0 in the playoffs against the Ravens, having defeated them in the AFC divisional round after the 2006 and 2009 seasons.
Last season, the Ravens beat the Colts -- who started Dan Orlovsky at quarterback -- for the first time since the 2001 season, which was Manning’s fourth in the NFL.
Manning had been Indy's starting QB for 13 straight seasons until a neck injury sidelined him in 2011. The Colts finished 2-14 and earned the No. 1 overall pick, which they will likely use to select Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck. To start a roster overhaul, the Colts released Manning 12 days ago.
More than 10 teams reportedly expressed interest in Manning, but the Broncos, San Francisco 49ers and Tennessee Titans were finalists for Manning. Now it appears he is taking his talents to Denver.
And at some point in 2012, he will take them to Baltimore.