I’ve been saying this for 2 years, but it’s nice to see the Denver Post’s Broncos beat writer, Mike Klis, reinforcing the sentiment that Peyton Manning is going to play out his contract.
When Manning signed with the Broncos in 2012, he signed a 5 year, $96M deal that would see him in Orange and Blue through 2016. Granted, the structuring of it essentially made it a series of 1-year deals.
Remembering back to when he signed, nobody knew exactly how and IF, Manning would recover from his 4 neck surgeries. Subsequently, when he came out and broke almost every single Broncos’ passing record in 2012, year 1 of his deal, it became apparent that his recovery, and his future trajectory, would be very different than the average 36 year-old quarterback.
2013 was a dream season for Broncos Country, even though it ended in a nightmare. The fact that Manning absolutely wrecked the NFL record books with 55 TDs and 5,477 yards passing, speaks volumes as to his capacity to play QB at the highest level, even at 37.
Throw into that equation the fact that he won his record 5th league MVP and guided the Denver Broncos to their 7th Super Bowl appearance, albeit in a losing effort, and there’s no telling just how far he can push the twilight of his career.
It doesn’t hurt that John Elway has surrounded Manning with the best weapons he’s ever had around him. Yeah, I said it. I’d take Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker and Julius Thomas over Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark. Orange colored glasses, you say? Maybe.
Manning’s offensive line is arguably the best he’s ever had, too. All-Pro left tackle, Ryan Clady, protects his blind side. And at right guard, Manning has another All-Pro in Louis Vasquez to keep his jersey clean.
Each year that Manning has been in Denver, John Elway has somehow found a way to bring even more top shelf talent to the Broncos. In 2012, he brought in Jacob Tamme and Joel Dreessen. In 2013, he brought in Shaun Phillips, Terrance Knighton, and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. And this year, he’s absolutely broken into the stratosphere by bringing in the Dallas Cowboys’ all time leader in sacks, DeMarcus Ware, and Aqib Talib, T.J. Ward, and Emmanuel Sanders.
This shows a commitment to winning that Manning absolutely recognizes and appreciates. He’s not going anywhere. Brock Osweiler better get comfortable because he’s got another 2 years of warming the bench and holding a clipboard to look forward to.
In fact, when Osweiler’s rookie contract expires, following the 2015 season, Manning will still have 1 year left on his deal, which means that Osweiler could very well hit free agency without having played a meaningful down for the very team that drafted him to become their future franchise QB. Will he re-sign and choose to ride out the Manning Administration? Or will he look for a situation in free agency where he can get paid and start right away?
Only time will tell. But when Peyton Freaking Manning is your quarterback, this is a good problem to have. Thank you, John Elway!
And then we have to factor in the money. Manning is due to make $15M in 2014, $19M in 2015, and $19.5M in 2016. That’s another 53,500,000 reasons to keep on truckin’.
Broncos Country, rest assured, unless Manning suffers a terrible injury, he’s going to be your quarterback at least through 2016. Grab your forks, because the best is yet to come.