Well, that didn’t take long.
After the January 11 divisional-round loss to the Colts, Broncos G.M. John Elway told quarterback Peyton Manning to take several weeks before deciding whether to return. Woody Paige of the Denver Post, citing three unnamed “trustworthy” sources (not to be confused with the usual untrustworthy kind), reports that Peyton intends to come back to the team for a fourth season.
The only potential roadblock would be his annual physical examination. Manning had multiple neck surgeries before joining the team, and he’s checked every year to ensure that his neck will still be able to withstand the demands of playing professional football.
His third year with the team ended reportedly with two thigh injuries that seemed to significantly impair his ability to throw the ball.
The Broncos need a definitive answer from Manning by March 9. His $19 million base salary for 2015 becomes fully guaranteed thereafter.
Manning’s willingness to play for new coach Gary Kubiak suggests: (1) that Manning wasn’t overly upset about the departure of coach John Fox and offensive coordinator Adam Gase; (2) that Manning is comfortable with the intended offensive approach under Kubiak; and (3) that Manning isn’t holding too much of a grudge regarding the failure of Kubiak’s Houston Texans to reciprocate Manning’s interest in joining the franchise three years ago.