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Manning and Broncos ink five-year, $96 million deal: report

(Reuters) - The Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning have agreed to a five-year contract that will pay the 11-time Pro Bowl quarterback $96 million, according to a report on the National Football League's (NFL) website.

The Broncos have not confirmed the deal but scheduled a 3 p.m. ET (1900 GMT) news conference where they are expected to introduce the four-time NFL Most Valuable Player as their new franchise quarterback.

Manning was cut by the Indianapolis Colts two weeks ago and his former team was already congratulating the most prolific passer in their franchise's history.

"I congratulate Peyton as he heads to a tremendous organization in the Denver Broncos," Colts owner Jim Irsay said in a statement. "We wish him nothing but the best as he continues his Hall of Fame career."

There has been widespread speculation about Manning's future plans since he missed the 2011 NFL season and his former team decided to rebuild rather than pay him a $28 million bonus.

Several teams, including the Miami Dolphins, Washington Redskins and Seattle Seahawks, expressed interest in Manning before he narrowed his choices to the Broncos, Tennessee Titans and San Francisco 49ers.

In choosing Denver, Manning would remain in the American Football Conference (AFC), the same as the Colts, and join a team that won the AFC West division last season with an 8-8 record.

Indianapolis, who went 2-14 in Manning's absence, own the top pick in next month's draft where highly touted quarterback Andrew Luck is pegged as the top choice.

Signing Manning, who turns 36 this month, would also raise the prospects of Denver trading popular quarterback Tim Tebow, whose unorthodox style led the team to several comeback wins last season and a first-round playoff victory over Pittsburgh despite struggling with his throwing accuracy.

(Reporting by Julian Linden; Editing by Frank Pingue)

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