INDIANAPOLIS — Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, who won his second Super Bowl title on Feb. 7, is still undecided about whether he wants to continue playing, according to Broncos general manager John Elway.
“I met with Peyton a couple of nights ago, and we had a good talk,” Elway said Thursday afternoon at the NFL Scouting Combine. “We’re going to give him as much time as he needs. To be able to give him that time to figure out what he wants to do, that’s where we left it. It’s still in his court.”
It remains to be seen just how much time Elway needs before getting a final answer from Manning. If the 39-year-old quarterback is still on the roster on March 9, his $19-million salary for 2016 becomes fully guaranteed. It is highly unlikely the Broncos would take him back at that salary, since Manning’s skills have clearly declined and he has dealt with injuries the last two seasons.
Elway also would like to know Manning’s plans because of the team’s interest in re-signing free-agent quarterback Brock Osweiler, who started seven games for Denver in 2015. But the general manager, who starred at quarterback for the Broncos for 16 years, said Manning’s situation wouldn’t necessarily have a direct impact on Osweiler or free-agent linebacker Von Miller.
“I think the sample size that we got from Brock, we were excited with what we saw,” Elway said. “He made some good strides. We wouldn’t have been world champions without Brock. I was excited about where Brock is.”
Elway said Manning “is the same old Peyton that he was. It’s kind of come down to what Peyton wants to do, if he wants to go through that grind. Peyton led us to the world championship, and showed us the championship quarterback he is.”