There have been a lot of rumors surrounding Peyton Manning lately.
Let’s face it: the Denver Broncos didn’t do well in the playoffs in the 2014-15 campaign, losing to the Indianapolis Colts in the opening round. Regardless of how fans reacted to this result, the Broncos have to think about how to get farther next year.
It’s fair to say that the Broncos have an offensive line tailored for Manning. If Manning doesn’t perform well, the Broncos will have to rely on their running plays. Unfortunately, they aren’t that great at the running game either. The Broncos are known as the best offensive line in the league, and they have all the weapons they need to go to the Super Bowl. Getting a new quarterback is a viable option for the Broncos to reach their goal.
Someone had to fire Joe Montana.
After the Broncos’ loss to St. Louis Rams on Nov. 16, 2014, Manning’s performance began to worsen game after game, throwing an average of 233 yards in the last seven games comparing to 323 average yards in the first 11 games of the 2014-15 season. Manning’s trouble was partially due to his quad injury that constrains him from using any ability to compensate his arm. It’s almost unbearable to watch him in the Bronco’s last game against the Indianapolis Colts. He makes throwing a football looks like throwing a shot put.
Manning’s quad injury, along with four neck surgeries, is a contributing factor for him to fail the Broncos the next season. There are other factors as well: his age, his inability to extend plays and his vulnerability to the defensive team.
Even with all those factors, Manning is still one of the best quarterbacks in the league. He finished the 2014-15 season with 39 touchdown passes and 4,727 passing yards, ranking the fourth in the league.
John Elway, the Current General Manager of the Denver Broncos, expressed his thoughts about Manning in an interview after the NFL Scouting Combine on Feb. 19.
“We’re hopeful that Peyton comes back,” Elway said “We want him back. As I said after the season, we wanted him back, and we still want him back. He has not given me a definitive answer.”
John Elway does play an important role in the making of the decision, but it’s not totally up to him. The Broncos fired the whole coaching staff after the 2014-15 season and they found a new coach — Gary Kubiak. Kubiak is effective in creating running plays, which can buff up the Broncos’ weak spot. Can Manning fit the play style of this new coach?
On Manning’s part, he is also considering whether things can work out for this new coach. Manning said in a press conference following the Bart Starr Award Banquet on Jan. 30, “I haven’t made a decision yet. I still want to take some time to evaluate some things, to talk to some people.”
As far as I can see, Manning is not going to retire. If Manning does not return to the Broncos, he could potentially become a free agent and play for another team. The Buffalo Bills, the Houston Texans and the St. Louis Rams are the potential options for Manning.
As a Broncos fan, I surely wish that Manning would keep playing for the Broncos. This is not only for the fans, but also for Manning himself. It would be unacceptable if Manning would take the offer with the St. Louis Rams. Manning is scheduled to earn $19 million for the 2015-16 season. In my opinion, the best-case scenario would be for Manning to take a salary cut to make room for other players on the Broncos, since both Julius Thomas and Demaryius Thomas will become free agents.
Let’s hope we see Peyton Manning on the Broncos roster on March 6.