Brock Osweiler didn't get much time to bask in the euphoria of his first career victory. Following the Denver Broncos 17-15 win over the Chicago Bears, a report broke that Peyton Manning plans on playing next year.
On NBC's Football Night in America, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk said that Manning fully intends on playing in 2016, even if it's not with the Denver Broncos.
Here's a snippet from Florio's printed report on PFT:
And as Manning focuses on getting healthy on this year, he’s still not considering it his last NFL season. He currently intends, according to the source, to play in 2016 — even if he won’t be playing for the Broncos.
When Florio reported it live on FNIA, Tony Dungy was visibly shocked. He's as close to Peyton as anyone, and this was news to him.
I don't doubt that Manning's committed to returning this year but you can believe that Gary Kubiak will be a little gun shy to put the Broncos in the position they were in back in Week 10.
Manning played hurt vs. Kansas City, and it resulted in four interceptions and a passer rating of 0.0. The Broncos were unable to climb out of the hole, losing 29-13.
That was the game Manning was benched, after breaking Brett Favre's all-time passing yardage record. Fast forward to today, and the Broncos coming off a road win, the situation gets murkier, especially with the undefeated New England Patriots coming to town.
Brock Osweiler played well in Chicago. The running game came alive to the tune of 170 yards on the ground. Most importantly, Osweiler didn't turn the ball over.
Manning threw 17 interceptions in nine starts — unconscionable for an 18-year veteran. Vic Lombardi of Denver's 104.3 the Fan added fuel to the fire Monday, saying that he has a feeling that something big is coming this week regarding Manning and the Broncos.
Some kind of announcement? Lombardi is pretty plugged in to Dove Valley, as he's also the sports anchor for CBS4 Denver. It's a touchy situation, muddied by Osweiler's proficiency in his first start and Manning's undeniable regression.
Hypothetically, Manning could ask for the Broncos to release him, if the plan is to continue with Osweiler. We checked with our friend Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap.com, to get a picture of the salary cap ramifications, if Manning was released.
"I can't picture them relesing him this season," Fitzgerald said. "He would be exposed to waivers if they did and just the thought of him out there doesn't sound right. If he were to clear waivers the Broncos cap would remain identical as if he was on the team. His salary is guaranteed this year. So they would keep $17.5 million on the books. Whether cut this year or next they would hold $2.5M in dead money which would save the team $19M in cash and cap in 2016. It seems pretty clear that he won't be a Bronco next year."
Perhaps a placement on season-ending injured reserve? It makes perfect sense. We'll keep you posted.
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Chad Jensen is the Publisher of Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @ChadNJensen.
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