“Big name players with big time contracts restructure their deals all the time. Tom Brady has done it a couple times in recent years in the name of giving the Patriots a better shot at going all the way. But don’t count on Manning doing it.”
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Since his arrival in Denver many narratives have surrounded Peyton Manning. The one that has emerged this off-season is that he should take a cut in pay so that the Broncos can sign the free agents they’ll need to insure one more quality run at the Super Bowl before number eighteen trots off into the sunset. This line of thinking first emerged in social media circles and has crept its way slowly into the mainstream. Pro Football talk referred to the idea this morning, referencing incorrectly what they called a “Denver Post column”. The suggestion actually came from a Post reader in a Mark Kiszla “mail bag” column.
Big name players with big time contracts restructure their deals all the time. Tom Brady has done it a couple times in recent years in the name of giving the Patriots a better shot at going all the way. But don’t count on Manning doing it.
The restructuring of a contract typically pushes payouts into to future years and / or involves a contract extension. It’s somewhat doubtful that Manning wishes to play more than one additional year and even more doubtful that the Broncos want to see him return for 2016 much less add years to his deal. Manning will be forty sooner rather than later and while it looks as though he’s a virtual lock to play for the Broncos next season the future is more than cloudy beyond that.
Besides, unlike Tom Brady, Peyton Manning is a hired gun. The terms he and the Broncos settled on were a big part of what attracted Manning to Denver. He’s here to collect his $20M per season and move on. Manning doesn’t owe the Broncos anything and he’s under no obligation to provide any kind of a discount. It’s not Manning’s problem if the team can’t afford to bring back the Thomases or beef up the o-line through free agency. It’s not up to him to make sure the Broncos lock up a championship while he’s here. If anything Manning has resigned himself to the fact that he won’t win a championship here.
There will be a lot of pressure from Denver fans pushing Manning to show allegiance to the Broncos by granting the team a lower cap hit in 2015. But it isn’t likely to happen. What is likely to happen is another AFC West title and another playoff run that ends in disappointment thus further cementing Manning’s legacy as the guy who almost always failed with the chips were down.