Report: Pending physical, Peyton Manning intends to return to Broncos

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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.

112 responses to “Report: Pending physical, Peyton Manning intends to return to Broncos

  1. I really hope Manning doesn’t go the way of Brett Favre and refuse to let go. The guy is the best ever and it would be wise to retire before he has a complete season like last year.

  2. How can the last paragraph ignore the obvious? Perhaps he still just wants to play and all the other stuff is noise to him.

  3. Football players like playing football. Who woulda thought right? Stop complaining. Let the man enjoy his favorite activity.

  4. I see a lot of people saying retire and blah blah blah. I’d take Mannings year last year over Kaepernicks year in a heartbeat, and I’m a Kaep fan. I’d like to see Manning play another year.

  5. With Peyton’s limited arm strength and now extreme lack of mobility.. if you play tight bump and run coverage and take away his dinky slants.. with a solid pass rush .. he’s done.

  6. And there it is, the 19 million dollar physical.

    Manning says he wants to play, keeping the 19 million alive.

    The Bronco’s give him a physical and if he fails, he gets nothing.

    If he passes, they’re on the hook for the 19 million, whether they keep him or not.

  7. he’ll be back even with that noodle arm he was much better then alot of QBs this year.

    He’ll play and grab the couple of records he has left to pick up next season and they have decent enough running backs to take take the pressure off him. Plus the 19 million is hard to turn down.

  8. PS I agree with the Niners Fan and JSYK:

    I would take Peyton Manning with his head on a stick on the field before I would take someone else.

  9. I’m sure this announcement was scheduled to be released the Friday before the Super Bowl. However, Deflate-Gate pushed this story to this week.

  10. The Texans angle is way overplayed. At the time Matt Schaub was performing at an incredibly high level, and no one was sure of Manning’s potential production after four neck surgeries.

  11. He could be forcing the Broncos’ hand to have to cut him and still pay him after he passes his physical

  12. Browns, Bills, Cardinals & Texans fans everywhere read this headline with heavy hearts- even though there was never a shred of a chance he was going to any of those teams, anyways.

  13. For all the calls for Peyton to hang it up you do realize statistically he finished 4th in the league for passing yards (only about 250 yards short of Brees’ league leading 4952) , 2nd in the league for TD’s, and 4th in the league for passer rating. This after a decidedly down 2nd half of the season.
    While there is no denying past postseason struggles, there was way more too it than an aging Peyton Manning.
    People are talking about him like he could barely pick up a football and had no business on a football field.
    He may not be the best in the league anymore but he’s still better than about 25-28 QBs in the league.
    And really….who are you going to replace him with who is better? Name one available QB better than Manning even at his current level of play.

  14. How many teams would take a diminished Manning over their current qb? probably fifteen or twenty; even at $19MM

  15. Guy won’t be satsfied until his deteriorating skills get bad enough to force him to quit. Walk away with some dignity.

  16. This will mean another year where the Broncos will be unable to develop a young QB by giving him any game experience. Is Brock Osweiler any good? Who knows, given that Peyton won’t allow him to come out and take a few snaps even when the game’s a blowout. So the Broncos will merely tread water this season, maybe winning 11 games, maybe getting into the playoffs, then again one and done. And what happens the year after?

    And I’d still like to know what kind of leg injury doesn’t affect someone’s walking or running, but only their arm and ability to throw.

  17. What part of 20-million dollars per year plus endorsements don’t you guys get?

    From the Broncos perspective, even if Peyton is completely washed up, they have no plan B. He’s their best hope until they have somebody better or at least competent.

    So stop saying he should quit.

  18. Mistake by the Broncos if they bring him back. He’s done. For a team that just let all of their coaches walk because they couldn’t win the Superbowl, bringing back a qb that they KNOW can’t last a full season is foolish. They’ll be lucky to win 8 games next year.

  19. The accumulated wear and tear on Peyton Manning over the years, as well as the fresh injuries late in the season, made him look kinda battle-worn and pretty well used up, and at the end of his run. Agreed that he’s not likely to be better next season at age 39, assuming he does play.

  20. Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!

    Please make this stop! Surely Osweiler would be more exciting than Manning to watch.

    Manning is the most boring, mechanical, dink and dunk player in the NFL.

    If the receiver isn’t open, its a sack. Period. The guy couldn’t get out of the way of a bowling ball my five year old daughter threw.

  21. I am sure every Aging Gunslinger that is low on bullets feels that $19 million guaranteed will make a lot of those wounds mentioned in the article feel OK.

    Denver in 2015 will experience this a lot:
    – Run
    – Run
    – Pass
    – Punt

  22. Does anyone really expect him to walk away when he’s within spitting distance of breaking two all-time career records which will probably stand for decades? He needs 8 wins and 2200 yards to pass Favre in those categories. Brady would have to play at least three more years to get enough wins, and longer to get the yardage. That’s like thinking Hank Aaron would have retired with 710 home runs.

  23. Everyone keeps talking about how he doesn’t have an arm any more. Did I just dream the last two seasons, including this one before he sustained two lower body injuries? Look at his numbers for the last two seasons and then remind me why he should retire…

  24. 4) Manning isn’t going to go retire when he should like many greats before him. Take it from a guy who lived from the Favre fiasco, Manning as the same drive to play and won’t stop until it becomes so obvious he can’t even his own mother would tell me he stunk. Broncos would be better off with him retiring so they could start to move on from this salary cap mess that is about to hit them.

  25. A lot of people talk about Manning’s lack of arm strength but they must not have seen the last game where he overthrew Sanders three times down the sidelines on deep routes. He missed those throws because he was playing with an injured thigh. Give the man a break. He doesn’t talk about it because he doesn’t make excuses. When he is healthy he is the best in the business. I’m glad he is coming back. Quarterbacks like him are hard to find.

  26. Peyton is a lock for the HOF. Brady, after the cheating scandals, now not so much. The HOF voters will have significant doubts about how much of Brady’s performance was due to creatively interpreting the rules throughout his career, I am afraid.
    Personally, I am glad to see him come back. It is enjoyable to watch one of the truly greats perform in football.

  27. He looked fine earlier in the season before the thigh injury. He certainly wasn’t looking washed up when he went 22 for 26 with 4 TDs and no picks against the 49ers.

  28. I’d love to see a list of all these other “great” quarterbacks in the league that you’d like to start over Manning. And if anyone says Brock Osweiler, you’re delusional. Go watch one of last year’s preseason games and then get back to me on that one.

  29. You pinheads that say retire? The man is livin his dream. Having been on the field, lemme just say the accolades n cheers as ya walk out on the field fer post career accolades aren’t nearly as satisfying as gettin a pick and smackin a receiver in the mouth on a three yard return. If I made the pros they’d hafta carry me off the field and hold me at bay with a cattle prod.

  30. Year TDs Passer Rating
    2004 49 121.1
    2005 28 104.0
    2006 31 101.0
    2007 31 98.0
    2008 27 95.0
    2009 33 99.9
    2010 33 91.9
    2011 DNP DNP
    2012 37 105.8
    2013 55 115.1
    2014 39 101.5

    Since 2004 Manning has only had 2 years with more TDs and 4 years with higher passer ratings.

    Based on the averages over the years since 2004, even if Manning drops to his 2010 levels he will still be better than 22 starting QBs in the league.

    The QB position on that football team is the least of their worries. Piss poor O-Line play, Inability of the coaching staff to game plan for specific teams and adjust, Inability to have the entire team prepared to play. Anyone who actually watched Denver play this year saw a team that was routinely out coached and uninspired to play.

  31. buckybadger says: Jan 21, 2015 11:36 AM

    4) Manning isn’t going to go retire when he should like many greats before him. Take it from a guy who lived from the Favre fiasco, Manning as the same drive to play and won’t stop until it becomes so obvious he can’t even his own mother would tell me he stunk. Broncos would be better off with him retiring so they could start to move on from this salary cap mess that is about to hit them

    Repeating “salary cap mess” over and over won’t change the fact that it’s wrong. This is not politics. Every person that parrots that knows nothing about Denvers cap situation.

  32. To people who think Peyton is done, do not under estimate the power of living legend that he is. How many of you thought he would play after 4 neck surgeries and have 3 great seasons with Broncos that he had? How many of current quarterback even came close to his performance last 3 seasons? He clearly played injured last playoff game. How can you judge him by that single performance unless you are clearly Peyton hater or down tight a moron of a fan?

  33. Megahead never leaves a penny on the table. Nothing would convince me that he’s going to leave 19 mil this year when he can grab it, and then choke again. He doesn’t care, he’s getting his. He wants his money and he wants to pad his stats. Why would anything change when he’s done the same thing for 16 years.

  34. Not sure why it was but that game against the Rams really messed him up. After that game his wounded duck throws became alarmingly consistent.

  35. Brock Osweiler has to be pissed about this. Just retire already manning it was a great three year run but we have to move on and give this back up QB some P.T. …..

  36. That’s fine and all but I wonder if he realizes the team won’t be the same due to the sheer number of free agents set to leave the team.

    He stands to lose 2 o-linemen, 1 d-lineman, 2 WR’s including DT, all of his TE’s not to mention LB’s and safeties.

    This is why I maintain they need to move on from Manning as they will NOT win a Superbowl with next years team based on the amount of talent they are likely to lose.

  37. sorry but i have zero confidence in him winning a super bowl.

    if they can’t re-sign demaryius, knighton, franklin, and maybe julius because of manning’s contract (I don’t think julius is that important..unless manning plays since he was AWFUL in the redzone after julius got hurt), then theyre not going to have a team for peyton to throw to, or a team after he retires

    I’d also like to see if osweiler is the future or not

  38. GREAT news for the rest of the AFC!!!

    His arm should be nice and limp by playoff time…again…

  39. Not sure why it was but that game against the Rams really messed him up. After that game his wounded duck throws became alarmingly consistent.


    I would be willing to bet a substantial amount that the leg injuries were originally suffered in that game. He got beat up badly in that game.
    If you watch the play that Manning supposedly got hurt on against San Diego, he didn’t actually even hit the turf. The thigh acted up during that game because he had spent the night puking his guts out.

  40. Manning is not returning because Elway does not want him too.. he’s way past his prime, ..had an awesome career.. has an awesome future.. he’s pretty healthy, wealthy, nice family, awesome life.. let it go!

  41. “Manning’s willingness to play for new coach Gary Kubiak suggests: ”

    …that he wants the $19M he’s due next year.

  42. Is Peyton open to a pay cut?

    It seems like his role next year will be scaled back a bit as the Broncos move to feature the run in the Kubes/Shanny zone blocking scheme.

    We all know Peyton doesn’t need the money (and makes more from endorsements than NFL salary).

    The one thing he does need is another ring.

    So why not take a pay cut from $19m to $10m so the Broncos can resign some of their key FAs, like Demaryious Thomas.

    Another ring is worth a lot more to Peyton than another $10M.

  43. Kubiak’s offense requires a fair of amount of mobility (at least to roll out) on the part of the quarterback.

    How’s that gonna work out?

  44. bradyisyourdaddy says:Jan 21, 2015 10:50 AM

    Brady says:

    Thanks for giving ESPN something else to talk about Peyton

    Because ESPN knows Peyton is not a cheater like Brady!

  45. Kubiak’s offense requires a fair of amount of mobility (at least to roll out) on the part of the quarterback.

    How’s that gonna work out?


    Any coach worth his salt knows how to design plays that work to his players strengths.

    Manning may not be his idea of a picture perfect QB, but he’s far and away better than any available alternative. I stress Available.

    If the Broncos brass really thought Osweiler was the 2nd coming of Aaron Rodgers they would be nudging Manning to the door…..They aren’t, and he isn’t.

    Let him heal, get an O-line that can do its job, get a running game that leaves his receivers in 1 on 1 matchups and ride that old horse.

  46. It’s his career, legacy and life. He is the one who has to live with the decision. Let the man play if he chooses.

  47. It wasn’t Kubiaks decision, that’s what it says to me. It was bob mcnairs decision to pass on Manning. He believed at the time the Texans with Shaub was a Super Bowl contender.

    This also could be a leverage move by Peyton. He did this in Indianapolis, let it be known he wanted to come back to the franchise only to put the blame on Irsay to basically cut him. I think Elway is a little more credible however he may want Manning back based on whether he’d be willing to restructure a lesser deal to build the offensive line needed to make that zone blocking scheme work. The line they have now is no where near that level of play. They need a true center, and a true LG. Keep Demarius Thomas, at the cost of signing Julius Thomas. He can’t block and is a product of the Manning system. If Virgil Green is your blocking answer then develop him as a pass catching threat. Let Welker go, put Sanders in the slot and develop Corey Latimer, who most believe could be a rising star.

    Then with those moves Denver should be able to retain Pot Roast, add strength to their o line and finally get MLB depth
    Finally I’d let Manning still run his no huddle like the RAVENS did a lot, during the regular season and do it with the Zone blocking schemes.

  48. Manning has $19 million reason to try to play. Just like he fleeced Irsay for HUGE money to hold a clip board when he had to have known he could play because of his neck.
    Been there, seen this.

  49. Denver changes offense to adjust for Mannings injury/decreasing abilities.
    Patriots adjust ball pressure to adjust for Brady’s decreasing skills.

    Who is the most honorable franchise?


  50. How can anyone mention Farve and Peyton Manning in the same sentence?
    Elway wants the Broncos to emulate the same formula that brought them back to back Super Bowl victories. A zone blocking sceem that is heavy on the run using play action. This will take a lot of pressure of of Manning and allow CJ Anderson to do what he does best. Cutting up the field through the gaps. Manning may not be a very mobile quarterback but it would be better than being a lame duck sitting in the pocket waiting to get blasted.

  51. Amazing how year before last he was having the best year of any QB EVER just about…. Beginning of last season he started off strong, was even in the conversation of MVP again. So he gets 2 thigh injuries about midway thru the season, and he’s ready to collect dust according to some people?????? People don’t want to relate the injury with the last of the season…. And they won 6 of the last 8 games. There is NO way a player can decline over a 2-3 month time so bad he needs to retire. If this had been ANY other QB, they wouldn’t be catching the hell that Peyton does. This is not a Brett thing AT ALL… He played injured, wants to heal & play again if he can after his physical. What about the fact he has played better in Denver than in Indy, after FOUR neck surgeries???!!! Give the guy a break!!!

  52. I’m happy to see him come back, but I sincerely question how Manning and Kubiak will get along with regards to calling the offense.

    Frankly, I want him to return because I want to see if we should have been blaming age or the injuries for his late season issues. He’s a HOF, no doubt. But the end of the careers of some of the best players is always interesting to watch because you’re not sure if/when it’ll be a glorious blaze to the top one last time, or a tremendous crash. Even more so because there are moments of both the longer this goes on.

    Morbid fascinating, but he won’t be the last player that I (or collectively, we as fans) watch keenly in this way.

  53. no way elway hired kubiak if he was going to pay manning $19M to run a peyton conducted pass heavy offense. manning is making a money play, pure and simple. this way elway is the bad guy when he declines the option.

  54. I agree that Peyton broke some records and had some good stats. Also borrowing from a quote from singer Dave Mason about rockers, football is an attitude, not an age. However, with all the neck injuries, and now thighgate, and other issues that have come up, Peyton should think about his health. Also his playoff record is not the best and it may behoove him to do like John Elway did and go out on top. We do not need another Brett Favre.

  55. Elway wants the Broncos to emulate the same formula that brought them back to back Super Bowl victories.

    SO they are going to cheat the salary cap again?

  56. RomoIsGod says: Jan 21, 2015 10:50 AM
    I really hope Manning doesn’t go the way of Brett Favre and refuse to let go. The guy is the best ever and it would be wise to retire before he has a complete season like last year.

    Not sure what you are talking about, but Brett Favre had one of his best years ever the year before he went out. His final year was a disaster mainly because of a couple key injuries on the offensive line which stifled the running game and drastically reduced Brett’s time to throw. He still very much had the arm to play.

  57. Good News!! Gary Kubiak says he will develop a playbook around Peyton Mannings strengths. He said he is interested and looking forward to learning Manning’s playbook too.
    It’s good to see that the new coach has an open mind and is willing to consider new ideas. Sounds like a smart coach.
    I also think too much is made about Manning’s age. Yes, he is older but so is Brady and I don’t see him slowing down.
    I don’t see how a quarterback can go from a record breaking season just two years ago into retirement anyway.
    Hopefully, he will take another pay cut in order to keep both JT and DT next year.

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