Yesterday, it was announced that Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos had agreed to terms on contract restructuring that will pay the 5-time NFL MVP $4M less than he was scheduled to make in 2015. The contract will not become official until he passes a physical, which is expected to take place today.
He was originally due to make $19M but his new contract pays him $15M for 2015. Following the report of the restructure, buzz began that additional incentives were built into his contract that would afford Manning the opportunity to earn that $4M he gave up back.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Legwold and Chris Mortensen, those incentives have a Super Bowl connotation.
All that remains is for Manning to pass a physical exam, which he is expected to take Thursday, sources said. After that, he will sign the contract. The contract includes incentives that could take it back to $19 million -- $2 million for winning the AFC Championship Game and $2 million for winning the Super Bowl.
Some would argue that these added incentives are cosmic justice from the Football Gods. Manning was recruited to Denver for the express purpose of bringing the franchise their third Super Bowl championship, but the last three years have ended in postseason disappointment.
If Manning wasn’t already motivated to hoist his second Lombardi trophy, he now has an additional 4 million reasons to get it done. With a league-high 10 Pro Bowlers in 2014, the Broncos have most of the pieces in place to make a deep playoff run.
The team believes they have the right coach in place in Gary Kubiak to get them over the Super Bowl hump. But how the Broncos fill their roster holes on the offensive line, at safety and defensive tackle, will likely be a determining factor.
This year’s draft class will offer plenty of opportunities to upgrade the roster, as will the free agent pool. The NFL free agency period officially opens on the afternoon of March 10th—next Tuesday.