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Broncos were high on Weeden, until they got Manning

Brandon Weeden

Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden passes against the Washington Redskins in the third quarter of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)


The Broncos’ decision-makers were in Stillwater, Okla., scouting Brandon Weeden when Brandon Weeden became a moot point to them.

But if not for their signing of Peyton Manning, Weeden might well have ended up in Denver.

Jeff Legwold of the Denver Post has some good background on the Broncos’ thought process during their pursuit of Manning, including the fact Manning was on the plane that picked John Elway and John Fox after their visit with Weeden.

The Browns picked Weeden 22nd overall. The Broncos were in the 25th spot, before trading down twice.

It was clear the Broncos were intrigued by Weeden’s maturity and his time as a professional baseball player, making him a player they thought could contribute quickly (although Fox replaced a similar player in Chris Weinke as quickly as he could with Rodney Peete in Carolina in 2002).

But once Manning signed with them, they didn’t want to invest a pick in a 29-year-old knowing they’d committed to Manning for the foreseeable future.

That sent them in the direction of 21-year-old Brock Osweiler as their developmental quarterback.

No one’s worried about the long-term future with Manning at the helm, but Broncos fans can take a peek at what might have been this weekend.