Monday, March 19, 2012

I'm taking an awful risk Vader ...

With the Broncos acquiring Peyton Manning today the Star Wars character Grand Moff Tarkin (as Denver owner Pat Bowlen) comes to mind saying to John Elway, "I'm taking an awful risk Vader. This had better work!"

And the Manning acquisition is very risky for several reasons:

1. Manning is 36 years old coming off of missing an entire season due to a neck injury.

2. You don't see teams replacing a young quarterback in Tim Tebow who led the team to a division title and playoff win over the defending AFC Champions. With Tebow now likely to be traded, will he come back to haunt the Broncos?

3. Trading for an aging veteran quarterback has yet to lead a team to a Super Bowl title. Back in the 70's it didn't work for Joe Namath or John Hadl, and more recently it hasn't worked for Joe Montana or Brett Favre.

4. Tebow is extremely popular with the Denver fans.

Yes, for these reasons and more the Manning move is very risky for the Broncos. That said, I like it!

Broncos President John Elway was never afraid to take a risk in his playing days, often throwing the bomb unexpectedly for a big play. As a football executive in his first gig, Elway fired one of his Dad's best friends as coach of the Arena Football Denver Crush in what at the time seemed like a questionable move. Yet the new coach was to lead the Crush to the championship.

I like that the Broncos are focused on winning the Super Bowl. Not just on more division titles. Not just on a playoff win here and there. Manning is the type of quarterback that can win a Super Bowl. As exciting as Tim Tebow was in the 2011 season, I still have doubts Tebow can lead a team to the title with his physical style of play and erratic passing.

And is the move really that risky?? If Manning gets hurt or fails to meet expectations, all the Broncos are out is a huge chunk of guaranteed money in Manning's contract. They'll still have all their draft picks. I think the Redskins Mike Shanahan trading three #1 draft choices and a #2 for the unproven quarterback Robert Griffin III is a far riskier move.

Another line comes to mind from the Star Wars movies. Bronco coach John Fox in the role of Obi Wan saying to Elway/Yoda in regards to Tebow's disappointing performance in the New England playoff loss, "That boy is our last hope."

"No", Elway replies, "there is another ..."