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OK, Peyton. One more year and that’s it, okay?

Colin D. | January 21, 2015

“Pretty much everything Peyton Manning is yet to do can be done in 2015 – including winning a Super Bowl in a Broncos uniform. But after that he’s got to go and let Brock Osweiler – or whoever happens to be the QB of the future – begin his reign for the Orange and Blue.”

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The idea that the Denver Broncos would match a new quarterback to their new coach in 2015 seems to have already hit the skids. Although the public has not heard from Peyton Manning himself (which we’ve become accustomed to; he was nowhere to be found after the Super Bowl loss) people close to him have reportedly told Woody Paige that old number 18 intends to come back. This assumes the old man will pass his team-mandated physical – which he will.  

Fine.

Broncos Country will naturally welcome Manning  back for another run. One more season. He’ll be 39 years old and in pursuit of the handful of regular season records that he has not already broken. He will doubtlessly surpass Brett Favre for the most passing yards ever tossed and set a new record for wins, assuming the Broncos can finish 2015 over .500. Also, as Paige pointed out in his column today, Manning can be elected to his 15th Pro-Bowl next season, setting yet another high bar.

Pretty much everything Peyton Manning is yet to do can be done in 2015 – including winning a Super Bowl in a Broncos uniform. But after that he’s got to go and let Brock Osweiler – or whoever happens to be the QB of the future – begin his reign for the Orange and Blue.

As I have written about before here at South Stands Denver, Manning’s contract does not expire until after the 2016 season. Osweiler’s expires after the 2015 season. Were Manning to decide to play out his deal it would leave Osweiler an unrestricted free agent after next year and he would probably depart Denver having never been given an opportunity to prove that he can be the home-grown talent that John Elway hoped he would be when the Broncos drafted him.

Brock is my all accounts a prototype quarterback for Gary Kubiak to work with. His skill set dictates that he should function perfectly in a west-coast offense. Brock is big and tough and mobile. Most of all he has a cannon for an arm. In other words, he is pretty much the polar opposite of Peyton Manning who relies on his cleverness and finesse more than he does his physical skills.

Kubiak can certainly make adjustments in his game plan to better fit Manning. And Manning can make adjustments to his game to fit Kubes’ game plan. They can adjust to each other for a season and see how it goes. The Broncos will probably win the west again, which they probably would not do with Osweiler. They can make the playoffs and hopefully a run to the Super Bowl. But Broncos fans will be smart enough to expect an early exit.

Once Manning finally retires it may be a while before the Broncos are part of the NFl post-season again. But, like the Nuggets who fired George Karl after a 57 win season, they will be able to begin a rebuilding process that will ultimately make them a stronger contender.

By welcoming Peyton Manning back the Broncos will be delaying the inevitable. They’ll have the tools to be in the mix once more for a title but they will also be stymieing their development. But perhaps it’s best that the football world has a chance to bid Peyton Manning farewell having allowed him one last shot at glory.

Beyond 2015 Manning will have overstayed his welcome. As it stands next season will have the feel of being all about his legacy – much like the past two seasons have. Were he to play in 2016 it would create a feeling that the Broncos were being held hostage.

For the moment it looks like Peyton Manning will be back in a Broncos uniform for one more year. Broncos Country can get behind that. That gives the coaching staff a chance to settle in while coping with as little chaos as possible. 

Written by Colin D.

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