In a packed team meeting room inside of the Denver Broncos' training facility, Peyton Manning stood next to John Elway and owner Pat Bowlen, and held up a brand new orange No. 18 Broncos jersey, officially kicking off his introduction as the team's next quarterback.
"I'm very excited to begin the next chapter of my playing career with the Denver Broncos," Manning said during a Tuesday news conference. "This truly is a special football environment, and I'm glad to be a part of it.
" ... I'm thrilled to be here. I'm looking forward to meeting my new teammates, and doing whatever I can to help this franchise win another Super Bowl."
Manning's contract is worth $96 million, a league source told NFL Network's Albert Breer, but NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora reports Manning's contract essentially boils down to a series of one-year deals.
The deal includes $18 million guaranteed once it is signed, league sources told La Canfora, and there remains ongoing discussion about injury language in the contract, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.
If Manning passes a physical in March 2013 he'll be guaranteed $40 million over the next two seasons. There is currently an injury waiver in place, however, that should Manning injure his neck in 2013, the Broncos can void the contract at that point, and 2014 would not be guaranteed, sources told La Canfora. Those sources also said there is ongoing dialogue about that injury waiver, and whether it should apply to both years, and until Manning signs the deal that is not locked in.
"This is sort of a historic meeting today," Bowlen said. "We're very fortunate to have two Hall of Fame quarterbacks in this room. One already is in the Hall of Fame, the other one definitely is when he retires. Peyton is one of the best ever to play this game, and I feel very fortunate to have him here."
"Peyton gives us another chance to win another world championship," Bowlen added.
Manning said he will stay in Denver this week and get to work. While he said he is not all the way back from neck surgery, Manning said he could play this weekend if he had to.
"Could I play a game this Sunday? Yeah," Manning said.
Elway, the Broncos executive vice president of football operations, led Manning into the news conference -- one quarterback already on the Hall of Fame, the other on his way to a bust in Canton, Ohio.
"We didn't try to sell him hard, we wanted him to feel comfortable here," Elway said. "We're so fortunate to have him here.
"My goal is to make Peyton Manning the greatest quarterback to ever play the game," Elway added. "He's already made (his new teammates) better and they haven't all met him yet. ... He's going to be a tremendous effect on the Denver Broncos."
Manning's arrival in Denver was met with jubilation by Broncos players Monday.
"He has the potential (to take us to the promised land)," veteran running back Willis McGahee told NFL Network. "He should. I'm hoping."
"It impacts me, having a guy like Peyton makes everybody better," Broncos defensive end Elvis Dumervil told The Denver Post. "He makes me want to work that much better. To have that type of leader in the locker, to have that type of talent on the field, weâre all ready to share. Heâll have to share with Batman and Robin, baby!"