The Broncos had 20 million reasons to examine Peyton Manning’s neck, but no reason to believe it would be a problem.
They also may have a few million reasons to try to get Manning to restructure his contract in a way that frees up more money so that the Broncos can afford players who’ll help close that 35-point gap with the defending NFL champions.
Per a league source, the Broncos have yet to approach Manning about a possible restructuring. With a cap number of $17.5 million and a base salary of $15 million, the Broncos could easily create more than $9 million in cap space by converting $14 million of Peyton’s salary to a signing bonus.
The problem is that it would drive Peyton’s 2015 and 2016 cap numbers from $21.5 million in each year to more than $26 million in each year.
Unless Peyton is inclined to take less (right, wrong, or otherwise, he’s never been inclined to do that), the Broncos need to figure out how to balance the remaining $53 million in cash and $60.5 million in cap dollars under the five-year deal Peyton signed nearly two years ago.