ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --It's not often that a Hall-of-Fame-caliber quarterback becomes available in the NFL, but after Peyton Manning hit the waiver wire, the Broncos showed their interest immediately. After several visits between the Broncos and Manning, Denver announced on Tuesday that the quarterback has agreed to terms with the team.
"The opportunity to acquire a future Hall of Fame quarterback like Peyton Manning was one that we could not pass up," Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway said. "Adding a player of his caliber immediately improves our team. I believe he has many good years left as an elite quarterback, and this acquisition moves us closer to our ultimate goal of winning another Super Bowl.
"There are many reasons why we feel Peyton is a great fit for the Denver Broncos: Our city and our fans, Coach Fox and his staff, our players, and most importantly, the winning tradition established by Pat Bowlen. This is a great place to play football, and we are thrilled that Peyton has decided to become a Bronco."
In Manning, the Broncos add a passer who ranks third all-time with 54,828 passing yards and has thrown 399 touchdowns with 198 interceptions for a passer rating of 94.9, which is second in league history among all quarterbacks with at least 5,000 attempts.
He leads the league in yards and touchdowns, while ranking fifth in completion percentage and passer rating since he entered the league in 1998. Manning has earned 11 Pro Bowl selections and is a five-time first-team All-Pro.
A winner throughout his career, Manning earned league MVP honors while leading the Colts to victory in Super Bowl XLI. His Colts teams posted a 141-67 (.678) regular-season record and won the AFC South eight times, making the playoffs a total of 11 times in his 13 seasons as the team's starting quarterback. His 141 regular-season victories rank fifth all-time.
"I've admired Peyton as a player for a long time," Head Coach John Fox said. "He has rare talent along with a work ethic that drives him and his teammates to be the very best. He makes everyone around him better. These qualities are what have made Peyton Manning such a special quarterback and earned him so much respect from around the league.
"Peyton has shown that he is completely dedicated to winning. This is a great opportunity for him to do just that along with everyone who is part of this team. I can't wait to get started, and I couldn't be happier that he is a Bronco."
While Manning was a free agent, he visited the Broncos' Dove Valley headquarters and Elway led a Broncos contingent to visit the quarterback in North Carolina, where he was working out.
"During his visit to our training facility, Peyton's competitiveness, passion and football knowledge were overwhelmingly evident during the nearly seven hours he spent at our facility with our coaches and staff," Elway said. "We also were impressed with his progress in a throwing session for our coaches in North Carolina. His attitude and dedication will continue to aid him in his recovery."
Manning is expected to arrive in Denver to sign the contract on Tuesday, as well, with a press conference held later in the afternoon.
"Peyton's accomplishments in the NFL have been well-documented," Elway said. "Simply put, he is an incredible talent who is one of the best to ever play the game. This is a great day for our organization, and we are excited to welcome Peyton Manning and his family to the Denver Broncos."