Last spring, John Elway initially asked Manning to take a $10 million pay-cut. Manning was open to taking a step backward financially, but not that big of a step.
Instead, Elway and Manning agreed to a $4 million pay-cut, meaning that Manning would play out the 2015 season at $15 million. However, there was a caveat.
Elway left the door open on the $4 million in question in the form of performance escalators. If Manning and the Broncos win the AFC title game, he'll get a $2 million bonus.
If Denver goes on to win the Super Bowl, he gets the other $2 million. That's the financial side of Manning's motivation, but it certainly doesn't sum it up completely.
Manning has the rare opportunity to advance to the Super Bowl and become the first quarterback in NFL history to win two Lombardi Trophys with two different teams.
Then, in his second season with the Broncos, Manning received another shot at the Lombardi Trophy in Super Bowl XLVIII. Alas, he's 1-2 in the Super Bowl.
The good news? His one trip to the big dance with the Broncos came at the expense of Tom Brady and the Patriots at home in the AFC title game. Manning will get one last chance to topple his arch-nemesis for the right to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.
Win one more game, become $2 million richer. Win two more and he'll not only get every nickel he lost in his pay-cut but also ride off into the sunset, like his boss John Elway did, as a Super Bowl champion.
Chad Jensen is the Publisher of Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @ChadNJensen.
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