The Denver Broncos announced today that they have acquired Eli Manning from the New York Giants and will start him at quarterback Sunday in the AFC Championship Game against the New England Patriots. The move means Eli’s older brother, Peyton Manning, will sit the bench.
“This move is simply about giving our team the best chance to beat the Patriots and advance to the Super Bowl,” said Broncos executive vice president John Elway. “Eli has shown he has the ability to beat Tom Brady and the Patriots in the playoffs. More than once, in fact. He’s quite good at it. While Peyton, let’s face facts, has struggled. It wasn’t a tough decision to make. I can’t worry about feelings. That’s why I made the move from Tim Tebow to Peyton. It’s a business.”
The trade was allowed under an NFL rule that allows teams not in the playoffs to deal veterans to still-contending teams if the team acquiring the player pays a $3 million postseason trade “penalty” and gives up a draft pick.
“It’s a steep price, but I don’t think you can put a price on swapping out Peyton Manning for Eli Manning come playoff time,” said Broncos owner Pat Bowlen. “For whatever reason, this boy over here picks apart the Patriots with ease.”
Eli Manning said he was surprised by the trade.
“Gosh, yeah,” he said. “I was at the playground — you know, with my kids — and I got a call from Mr. Tom Coughlin saying I was going to the Broncos. I was confused, but then excited because that’s the football team my brother Peyton plays for. And then I was told I would be starting over Peyton to beat the Patriots for him and … well, I just hope my brother isn’t sore at me.”
Peyton Manning took the news like a true professional.
“As a competitor, I want to be the one out there,” he said. “I’d like to finish the job. But my brother has a good track record against the Patriots so I understand the reasoning. I’ll help as much as I can from the sidelines.”
Manning also denied a report that he asked his father, Archie, to have Elway killed over the move.
“I’m not going to get into speculation like that, sorry,” said Peyton.
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