It’s been nine days since Super Bowl 50, and there’s still no official clarity as to who the Denver Broncos quarterback will be in 2016. The opinions of certain key players are becoming more clear.
Defensive end Malik Jackson believes another Brock Osweiler deserves to be paid.
“He’s definitely someone who’s proven,” Jackson said on NFL Network’s Total Access, via Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post. “He’s been underpaid for four years, quietly waiting. When he got his chance to go, he really outperformed himself. I think with the defense they have in Denver, you could put Brock back there and he’ll definitely win some games with them.”
Did you notice that one? Jackson used “they” and “then” when talking about the Broncos, not “we” and “us.” Which is one of those subtle slips that could be interpreted as an indication that Jackson already has accepted the fact that he’ll be leaving the team in free agency. Which isn’t surprising given the rampant nature of tampering during this portion of the calendar.
Other teams surely are tampering with Osweiler, too, even as the Broncos reportedly wait to negotiate with him out of respect for Peyton Manning, who still hasn’t told the team what he wants to do. (Sure, there’s no deadline.)
Malik Jackson has an inkling as to what Manning will do.
“I think when he talked to the team going into the game Saturday night you could kind of feel like the way he was talking, he was getting a little emotional,” Jackson said. “I don’t know if that was his last speech before a team, but you could definitely tell maybe it was getting closer. He kind of felt an extra type of why about this game to really want to go out there and win. It was one of those things where he started choking up and you’re like, ‘Oh, is he gonna say it?’ He never said it, but I think we all just got an idea.”
That’s consistent with the report from Sal Paolantonio of ESPN that Manning didn’t say he was retiring the night before Super Bowl 50 because he didn’t need to. So what is Manning waiting for, and why are the Broncos waiting for him before negotiating with Osweiler?
It’s almost as if Manning is messing with the Broncos, and that the Broncos have decided to move on from both of them.