#1- Peyton Manning
2016 Status: Scrap
Explanation: The sheriff was able to cap off his 4th season in Denver and 18th in the NFL on a podium hoisting the Lombardi Trophy. That’ll be enough to make him ride off into the sunset, right?
I speak for all of Broncos Country when I say that we hope #18 takes this great opportunity to retire on top and transition into the next phase of his life. Unfortunately, it’s never that easy. Despite the worst statistical season of his career (capped off by a pedestrian Super Bowl performance), a player like Manning will have a problem seriously contemplating the idea of retirement.
No player wants to admit defeat and hang up the cleats, regardless of how prolific their career was. A creature of habit,
Peyton Manning may have a hard time adjusting to a life away from the football field knowing that he’ll never be a part of a locker room or game situation ever again. Despite the obvious decline in production and physical ability, the mind will work wonders on your psyche. Even when everything tangible around you says to move on, your passion and love for the game could continue to convince you to keep playing.
Another thing that could play a large factor in his decision is the money. Manning has one year left on a 5 year deal that he signed in 2012 and is due a whopping $19.5 million dollar salary with another 2.5 million in roster bonuses due the first day of the 2016 (March 9th). Either Manning decides to retire before then or intends to keep on playing, which puts the pressure on the Broncos. There’s no way you can afford to bring Manning back at that salary, but how do you tell a Hall of Fame QB who just quarterbacked your team to a Super Bowl victory that he’s not welcome back?
Let’s just hope he decides to go out as a champ and enjoy the next phase of his life. Regardless of his decision, it’s virtually impossible that he returns to the Broncos next year. Do the right thing,#18! Don’t put the Broncos in a situation where they have to release you. Go out like a champ, like you deserve…