On Monday, Peyton Manning picked the Broncos. On Tuesday, the Broncos plan to formally introduce the team’s first true franchise quarterback since John Elway to the fans and the media.
Mike Klis of the Denver Post says the arrangements are tentative, presumably since the i’s haven’t been dotted and the t’s haven’t been crossed on what will be one of the most scrutinized contracts in NFL history.
If the press conference occurs, owner Pat Bowlen will present Peyton with his jersey. Although No. 18 has been retired in honor of quarterback Frank Tripucka, Klis writes that Peyton was considering talking with Tripucka on Tuesday morning to seek his permission to don the number. Tripucka said in an interview last week that he’d be honored if Peyton wears the jersey.
But with the Colts already retiring Manning’s No. 18, maybe Peyton should leave No. 18 in Indy and pick a new number for his stint with the Broncos. How about 16, the number Peyton wore at Tennessee? Or 19, in honor of John Unitas?
If, in the end, Peyton decides to dust off a number that has been retired for someone else, here’s hoping that he’ll be willing at some point down the road to allow some hot-shot free agent who chooses to play for the Colts to take No. 18 down from the rafters.
Bottom line? If Peyton thinks he would have any misgivings about letting someone else wear his number 18 in Indy, he simply shouldn’t wear Frank Tripucka’s number in Denver.