On the day the Denver Broncos celebrated the arrival of Peyton Manning, all the action photos of Tim Tebow that once graced the hallways at the team facility were gone.
How’s that for a subtle hint?
Though executive John Elway and coach John Fox wouldn’t exactly come out and say it, the Tebow era in Denver looks to be all but over.
At a news conference Tuesday to introduce Manning, Elway said he’s exploring all his options for Tebow, the incredibly popular and polarizing quarterback who led the Broncos back to the playoffs last season for the first time since 2005.
“Tim Tebow is a great kid. If I want someone to marry my daughter, it would be him,” Elway said. “But I think with the opportunity to have Peyton Manning’s services, we had to take advantage of that. Now that it’s happened, we have to go back and address Tim and see what the best situation is for the Denver Broncos as well as him.”
Although disappointed at Manning’s decision to come to Denver, Tebow took the news in stride during a phone conversation with Elway.
“He’s said, ‘Well, we’re talking about Peyton Manning. I understand exactly what you’re doing, ,” Elway explained.
The next step in the process may be finding a trade partner, but the Broncos are in no hurry to do so.
Around the league
A person with knowledge of the negotiations said quarterback Alex Smith and the San Francisco 49ers are working to finalize a three-year contract. An announcement could come as soon as today … The Philadelphia Eagles acquired two-time Pro Bowl linebacker DeMeco Ryans from the Houston Texans for a fourth-round draft pick in 2012. The 27-year-old linebacker and team captain leaves Houston as the Texans’ all-time leader with 637 tackles … The New England Patriots announced the signing of free-agent receiver Brandon Lloyd. Lloyd, 30, is a nine-year veteran. He has played in 112 games, catching 311 passes for 4,784 yards and 31 touchdowns … The Detroit Lions reached a deal to keep linebacker Stephen Tulloch for another five years. Tulloch made a team-high 111 tackles with the Lions after signing a one-year deal last summer. Detroit also signed safety Erik Coleman (Lewis and Clark HS and Washington State), to a one-year deal … Longtime Pittsburgh wide receiver Hines Ward retired rather than try extending his career with another team. The decision comes three weeks after Ward was released by the Steelers in a salary-cap maneuver.