Per Woody Paige of the Denver Post, the Denver Broncos Peyton Manning plans to return according to “3 of Paige’s trustworthy sources”. However, he cannot and will not make a final decision until he takes a physical that is mandated by his contract, one that is set to pay him $19MM should he return. In his article, Paige added:
"“The Broncos have requested that Manning let them know his plans by March 9 — the day before teams must exercise their rights on veteran players under contract.”"
However, their General Manager John Elway and new head coach Gary Kubiak have already let it be known that they would like to have the 17-year veteran and future Hall of Fame quarterback return next season. Kubiak has already gushed about his potential starting quarterback and appears hopeful for him to continue his career as a member of the Broncos:
"“Well, it’s easy to build a playbook for him. I mean, he’s been the master at it for many, many years, and you’re talking about a Hall of Fame player, a Hall of Fame person. I look forward to learning that style of system that (Manning) has.”"
Jan 20, 2015; Englewood, CO, USA; Denver Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak speaks to the media at the Broncos training facility. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
It’s worth noting that his new head coach, the aforementioned Gary Kubiak, is notorious for installing a strong zone-blocking running scheme in all of his offenses. This past season, as the Baltimore Ravens’ offensive coordinator, Ravens’ running back Justin Forsett ran for a career high of 1,266 rushing yards and 8 touchdowns. For context, his previous career rushing high was 619 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns.
Following what was one of the worst playoff performances of Peyton Manning’s highly regarded NFL career, it appears that “The Sherriff” may not want to see it end on such a sour note. Battling a torn quad injury and looking not quite right, Manning consistently missed on deep throws and showed a lack of considerable zip, as his Broncos fell to the Colts, 24-13 in the Divisional Round of this year’s playoffs.
Forever an Indianapolis Colt at heart, as Manning spent the majority of his prestigious career in “Horseshoe Blue”, it’s encouraging that he’s reportedly still determined to give it another go. No real Colts fan could want to see #18 go out like that even if was against their current team.
Jan 11, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (left) shakes hands with Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck following the 2014 AFC Divisional playoff football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Colts defeated the Broncos 24-13. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports