First of all let me start by saying that I think the fans here are a class act compared to many around SB Nation. Most of the posts really revolve around level headed football talk. This is why I hope Peyton does not go to Denver. The Tebow support of many fans borders on cult like devotion. I do not think they deserve Peyton.
At least the support of Smith as your QB is qualified by the reasoning of many Niners fans as they see it. I can fully appreciate that. As a Manning fan here in Indiana I have seen many games in Indy and witnessed Peyton's off field behavior as well. That being said I believe Peyton would be great for the Niners and the Niners great for him.
1. Peyton started 208 games before this season. Second most durable QB in history. Until the neck injury Peyton only had an infected bursa sac worked on. He has had no injuries to speak of his entire career.
2. Manning has been the least sacked QB since entering the league. And many of the sacks were just him lying down to avoid the hit. Unlike other QB's Peyton's age, he has taken far far less of a beating over the years.
3. Peyton first received this injury in 2006 against Washington. This is attested to by Dungy and Manning. He aggravated it before the 2010 season. That was the season he threw a string of INT's that according to Manning were due to not getting enough on the ball. He still threw 33 TD's for 4700 yards.
4. The surgery was done to correct what he had been struggling with since 2006. According to Sports Orthopedics mag. 71% of NFL players who had this surgery came back to full strength.
5. Medical fact-Peyton is in no more danger of injury than any other player. His fusion had completely healed some time ago. The only question was nerve regeneration.
6. Peyton's surgeons are amazed how he has regenerated so quickly. It was thought that it would take until May or June for full regeneration from where he was in Jan. Manning is ahead of schedule.
7. According to Stokely and others Manning has thrown to, they believe that he will be back to pre 2006 form by the time the season starts. This is very possible as others who had this surgery found they were stronger than before. Bones and nerves will over compensate when they heal. Considering Peyton's incredibly quick rehab I believe this will be the case.
Add a healthy hungry Manning to this great team and I see nothing but dominance. I see a synergy between a team that has not had a QB of this talent in a long time and a QB who has not been surrounded by such a balance of talent before. I believe everyone who bets against Manning returning to form has missed their guess.
If Peyton goes elsewhere I still wish you all the best next season. However, if he ends up in a San Francisco jersey I will have to buy the NFL package so I can see every game. I think the next few seasons would be in the record books.