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Broncos Reportedly Offering Manning 5-Year, $90 Million Contract

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Peyton Manning attends a press conference announcing Manning's release from the Colts at Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center on March 7, 2012 in Indianapolis, Ind.  (credit: Joey Foley/Getty Images)

Peyton Manning attends a press conference announcing Manning’s release from the Colts at Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center on March 7, 2012 in Indianapolis, Ind. (credit: Joey Foley/Getty Images)

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DURHAM, N.C. (CBS Charlotte) – Could Tebow-time be over in Denver?

The Denver Post is reporting the Broncos are offering former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning a 5-year, $90 million contract. Broncos executive John Elway and Denver coach John Fox were at Duke on Friday with Manning when he worked out before them at the Blue Devils outdoor practice field.

Manning became a free agent on March 7 after the Colts released him to avoid paying him a $28 million roster bonus.

Current Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow became a phenomenon last year, captivating much of the nation with his dramatic fourth quarter comeback wins, the biggest coming with an 80-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas against the Pittsburgh Steelers during an overtime playoff win.

The Broncos aren’t the only team looking to add one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game. The San Francisco 49ers also worked out Manning. A person familiar with the situation confirms to The Associated Press that Manning worked out for 49ers’ coach Jim Harbaugh on Tuesday night at Duke. The person spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because no announcement has been made about the workout.

The Miami Dolphins are out of the Manning sweepstakes and the Tennessee Titans are still trying to court the four-time league MVP.

In a move that the Titans can only hope will help their efforts to attract Manning, they improved their offensive line by signing free-agent guard Steve Hutchinson on Thursday. He is a five-time All Pro who spent the past six seasons with Minnesota before being released Saturday.

It also wasn’t clear whether a surprise suitor could emerge, the way it’s happened in baseball recently, with Prince Fielder signing with the Detroit Tigers, Albert Pujols going to the Los Angeles Angels or Cliff Lee winding up with the Philadelphia Phillies.

If Manning wants to feel wanted, there is no shortage of wooing going on.

Set aside all of those face-to-face meetings that lasted six hours or more, and the cross-country trips, and look instead to the way government figures are getting involved.

“I’m the governor; I’m not supposed to be getting involved in sports issues. Although I did hear that my buddy (Tennessee Gov.) Bill Haslam was calling Manning, trying to call Manning, to encourage him to come to Tennessee,” Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said in a telephone interview.

Asked whether he would make a similar attempt, Hickenlooper replied: “Oh, sure. If I could get his number.”

“He’d make a great mentor for a couple of years with Tim Tebow,” Hickenlooper told The Associated Press. “I’m a big fan of Tim Tebow, and I’m not as skeptical as a lot of people are that he can’t overcome the mechanics of his throwing.”

In Tennessee, meanwhile, state lawmakers passed a resolution calling on Manning to sign with the Titans.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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