It's official... well about as official as it can be until we actually see him in the orange and blue. According to ESPN, barring any unforeseen difficulties or "snags" in the contract process, Peyton Manning will be the next quarterback for the Denver Broncos.

Citing anonymous sources Monday, ESPN said that the four-time MVP has instructed agent Tom Condon to negotiate to complete a deal with Denver. Manning became a free agent when the Indianapolis Colts released him March 7 after the quarterback missed all of last season because of multiple neck surgeries.

The addition of Manning could well lead to the trade of Tim Tebow, who energized the Broncos in leading them to the playoffs last season despite his uneven play.

The San Francisco 49ers and the Tennessee Titans have been the other teams considered finalists in the race to sign Manning.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.