JACKSONVILLE FL - OCTOBER 03: Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts is sacked by Lineman Jeremy Mincey #94 of the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on October 3 2010 in Jacksonville Florida. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
ESPN has reported that Peyton Manning will join the Broncos, and this has some effect on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. DraftPhantom wrote an excellent fanpost on how teams will be weakened by the Peyton Manning chase, but I can see a few other ways in which the Bucs are affected by Peyton's decision.
1. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will face Peyton Manning in Denver this season
For the third time in history, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will play Peyton Manning. The first time they played him was in 2003, which gave Tony Dungy the opportunity to get his revenge on the Bucs - and one of the most frustrating ends to a football game, ever. 'Leaping'. Ugh. The second game? Well, that was just a blowout loss during an otherwise pretty good 2007 season.
So, hey, the Bucs will get another chance to get shredded by one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game. Good fun.
2. Tim Tebow hits the (trade) market
No, Tebow is not coming to Tampa. It's not going to happen: the Bucs see Freeman as their franchise quarterback and they're already paying decent money to backup Dan Orlovsky. There's no need for Tebow as a quarterback in Tampa, and the walking quarterback controversy and media circus that is Tebow is something the Bucs will not be interested in. And for those who think Tebow will be brought in at a different position: that won't calm down any of the controversy (as soon as Freeman throws a pick, you know there will be cries for Tebow to start). Besides that, Tebow hasn't played anything but quarterback since high school. Converting him to another position would be a multi-year project with no guarantee of success. Would you give up draft picks for that?
3. Josh Johnson now becomes the favorite to go to San Francisco
Josh Johnson has been a backup (and occasional starter) in Tampa Bay for the past four seasons, but he's a free agent now. He hasn't been successful in Tampa, but the San Francisco 49ers are missing a starting quarterback right now - and Johnson would be a good fit. The fifth-year QB still has a lot of upside left, but more importantly, he played for San Francisco head coach Jim Harbaugh in college - making this a perfect fit. The Bucs were going to let Johnson walk anyway, so this doesn't really affect the Bucs - but it still affects a former Buccaneer.
That's about everything I can think of right now, so let me just finish with these following thoughts: