Broncos Want Peyton Manning Back For 2015
For the third year in a row, Peyton Manning couldn’t lead the Denver Broncos to the promised land. As disappointing as it’s been, the Broncos would still love it if he’d give it another try.
Speaking on Tuesday afternoon, Denver GM John Elway stated plainly that he and the Broncos want Manning to return for the 2015 NFL season. Elway did acknowledge, however, that the soon to be 39-year old Manning may have a lot to think about and that he should take “four or five weeks” away from the organization to decide whether or not he truly wants to keep playing.
Manning has been grilled all season about his future, and had previously said all along that he’d love to be back if the Broncos “would have him”. Understandably worn down by age, another long season, a tough playoff loss and even injury, Manning was far less sure of his future when questioned following Denver’s home loss to Manning’s former team, the Indianapolis Colts.
“I can’t answer every what-if circumstance, ” Manning said. “I’ll have to take some time to see how I feel, see how I feel physically.”
The good news is Elway isn’t being bashful. Manning is still part of his plans in trying to get Denver another Super Bowl. It almost worked out last year, and Elway clearly feels that a well rested and refreshed Manning is likely still the quarterback to get the job done.
John Fox wasn’t the coach to get the job done, however, as Elway axed Fox on Monday. Elway also admitted that Manning would “be involved” in the hiring of the next head coach, which suggests Manning would still have to have a solid amount of interest in sticking around for 2015.
Nothing appears set in stone, however. Manning could merely politely offer his insight in a potential hire, or the new head coach could even end up being the tipping point in having Manning hang’em up for good.
Per Elway, in-house candidates Adam Gase and Jack Del Rio should received interviews and will be seen as serious replacement options for Fox. The Broncos are also said to be very interested in Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.
Manning ended the 2014 season with stellar stats across the board (4,727 passing yards and 39 touchdowns) but appeared to regress over the final four games of the year. If Manning and the Broncos can’t decide that his poor play was more attributed to a thigh injury than age or skill erosion, it could very well mark the end of a brilliant career.
Should Manning exit with 2014 being his final season, the Broncos would likely move on with backup Brock Osweiler as their starter. The team could also look to the 2015 NFL Draft for more passing prospects, regardless of whether or not Manning retires. Naturally, even without a 75% Manning, the Broncos would surely take an overall hit and wouldn’t be a lock for the playoffs in 2015 – let alone a Super Bowl run.
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