Report: Peyton Manning plans to return to Broncos, pending physical

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Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. (Photo: Harry How/Getty Images)

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning will return to the team next season if he passes an annual physical examination, according to a report Wednesday.

The Denver Post’s Woody Paige said three unnamed “trustworthy” sources told him that Manning will play a fourth season for the Broncos.

Manning is 38-10 in three seasons with the team, but only 2-3 in the playoffs, including two home AFC Divisional round losses after a bye. The Broncos’ season ended Jan. 11 with a 24-13 loss to the Indianapolis Colts at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

As part of his five-year contract, Manning undergoes a physical after every season, specifically looking at his neck for which he had multiple surgeries before joining the team.

Manning, who will turn 39 in March, reportedly suffered a torn quadriceps late in the regular season and played the last two regular-season games and the playoff loss with it.

The Broncos, who have won the past four AFC West titles and advanced to the Super Bowl last year where they were humiliated by the Seattle Seahawks, 43-8, want to know by March 9 whether Manning intends to return. On March 10, his $19 million base salary for next season becomes guaranteed.

Coach John Fox and the Broncos mutually parted ways one day after the loss to the Colts. Former Broncos quarterback and offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak was hired by the team and introduced Tuesday at Dove Valley.

Kubiak said at his introductory news conference that he and Manning have talked and exchanged texts.

“It’s easy to build a playbook for (Manning),” Kubiak said. “He’s been the master for many, many years.”