Manning era gets started in Denver; Ward retires a Steeler
DENVER | Peyton Manning was introduced as the quarterback of the Denver Broncos on Tuesday, the four-time MVP taking the spot once held by John Elway, who as Broncos vice president engineered the deal to bring the NFL’S most sought-after free agent to town.
Manning’s five-year, $96 million deal that also could also mark the end of Tim Tebow’s days in Denver — a bold move, for sure, but one Elway was more than willing to take.
“Plan B?” he said. “I don’t have a Plan B. We’re going with Plan A.”
Of primary concern are Manning’s multiple neck surgeries. He said he’s not where he wants to be in terms of his physical status.
“I want to be where I was before I was injured, Manning said. “There’s a lot of work to do to get where we want to be from a health standpoint.”
He also addressed Tebow’s uncertain future with the organization after the charismatic QB led the Broncos to their first playoff win since 2005.
“I know what kind of player Tim Tebow is, what kind of person he is, what an awesome year it was. If Tim Tebow is here next year, I’m going to be the best teammate I can be to him. He and I are going to help this team win games.” still play football. The longtime Pittsburgh wide receiver known for his high-wattage smile and his bone-crunching blocks just couldn’t stomach the thought of doing it in some strange uniform on some strange field with nary a Terrible Towel in sight. “I just wouldn’t feel right,” Ward said. So rather than play for a 15th season — and his first outside the Steel City — a tearful Ward opted to retire Tuesday and secure a legacy unmatched in the franchise’s storied history.
“I can say I’m a Steeler for life and that’s the bottom line, that’s all I’ve really ever wanted,” Ward said.
Ward, 36, holds every significant franchise receiving record, including receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns.
His 1,000 career catches rank eighth all time, and he is one of only two players with at least 1,000 receptions and two Super Bowl rings. He was the MVP in Super Bowl XL with five catches for 123 yards and a touchdown in Pittsburgh’s 21-10 win over Seattle. 77th pick.
The 27-year-old linebacker and team captain leaves Houston as the Texans all-time leader with 637 tackles while also contributing eight sacks, six forced fumbles, eight fumble recoveries and two interceptions in his six-year career.
Quarterback Peyton Manning (left) and Broncos vice president John Elway show off Manning’s new jersey during a news conference at team headquarters in Englewood, Colo. Manning agreed to a five-year, $96 million contract.