While this appears to be a good indication that Manning will be back as the Broncos starting quarterback next season, Jason Cole of the Bleacher Report mentions that the decision whether Manning returns is ultimately up to John Elway.
Manning will need to pass a physical in order for his 2015 salary to be guaranteed. However, Cole points out that the Broncos could fail Manning “for any reason” including the four neck surgeries he underwent years ago.
Sources close to the Broncos and around the team tell Cole that there is a “big question” about whether or not they want to bring him back for another season.
However, Elway did say after the Broncos season concluded that he believes Manning has another year left in him. Although, Cole stresses that “it’s probably only one year.”
Previous reports have said that Manning is expected to make a decision regarding his future some time soon, but it sounds like it could be more complicated than him committing to another season.
Denver hired Gary Kubiak as their new head coach and some have said that this could be a issue for Manning given that his system requires quarterbacks to have some mobility. However, both Manning and the Broncos have downplayed this idea in recent weeks.
Manning, 38, has another two years remaining on his five-year, $96 million contract, which includes base salaries of $19 million for the 2015 and 2016 seasons. If he’s still on the team’s roster as of the final day of the 2014 league year, his base salary becomes fully guaranteed..
Manning’s 2014 season ended with him throwing for 4,727 yards while completing 66.2 percent of his passes to go along with 39 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. Pro Football Focus rated him as the No. 10 quarterback out of 39 qualifying players.
We’ll have more updates regarding the Broncos and Manning as the news is available.