The Broncos officially announced that Peyton Manning will return for the 2015 season on Thursday.
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) March 5, 2015
Broncos GM John Elway said of the move: “We’re glad to work something out with Peyton so that he will be part of our team this season.”
New Broncos HC Gary Kubiak added: “I’m excited Peyton is returning, and I look forward to working with him & all our players starting next month.”
Peyton Manning tells Mike Klis of the Denver Post that he’s excited to be back with the Broncos next year, but wouldn’t discuss his new contract with the team.
“I don’t talk about my contract. I never have in 18 years and I’m not going to start now,”Manning said Wednesday afternoon. “I’ve been working real hard and I’m excited to be back with the Denver Broncos. Can’t wait for April 13 to get here when the team can finally come together. I’m excited to get to work and get to know the new coaches and looking forward to trying to make 2015 a special year.”
- The deal is pending physical that will take place on Thursday.
- Legwold adds that Manning’s new contract includes incentives for an AFC Championship game win and a Super Bowl win.
It seems questionable that Manning would accept a pay cut without there being an impact on Denver’s overall approach to free agency. While he can still be owed the $19 million through incentives, the Broncos are likely looking to clear money while their championship window is open.
- According to Mortensen, this will lower Manning’s 2015 salary from $19 million to $15 million.
- Pro Football Talk mentions that Manning’s agent “surely looked into what else was out there at or close to $19 million” before accepting a $4 million pay cut.
Jason Cole of the Bleacher Report previously mentioned that the idea of the Broncos restructuring Manning’s contract was to free up additional cap space that could help them keep some of their free agents like DT Terrance Knighton and TE Julius Thomas.
All indications have been that the two sides would eventually get an agreement in place, but this situation has gone much longer than anticipated.
Manning, 38, has another two years remaining on his five-year, $96 million contract, which included base salaries of $19 million for the 2015 and 2016 seasons.
Under the previous agreement, his 2015 salary would become fully guaranteed if he was still on the Broncos’ roster as of March 9.
In 2014, Manning threw for 4,727 yards while completing 66.2 percent of his passes for 39 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. Pro Football Focus rated him as the No. 10 quarterback out of 39 qualifying players.