Manning’s New Orleans workouts no surprise; decision on return may come before Combine
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — As Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning continues to mull whether to return to the team for a fourth season, a New Orleans Times-Picayune report says the veteran is preparing as if he will be back.
The newspaper said Manning is in his hometown of New Orleans and will begin working out with trainer Mackie Shilstone this week with the intent of playing next season.
The workouts are not unexpected and a decision on whether to return won’t be made until Manning meets with General Manager John Elway and team President Joe Ellis.
The NFL Combine begins Feb. 17 and Manning is expected to meet with Elway and Ellis before then.
Manning said Jan. 30 at the Super Bowl that he did not want to make the decision a “lingering thing.”
Manning is 38-10 in three seasons with the Broncos, but only 2-3 in the postseason. That includes two homes losses in the AFC Divisional round coming off a bye sandwiched around a 43-8 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII.
This past season, Manning seemed to struggle with injuries in the second half of the season, including suffering a quadriceps injury in a win against the San Diego Chargers. But he was terrible in the Broncos’ 24-13 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, his former team, in the playoffs, completing only 26 of 46 passes for 211 yards.
One day after the loss to the Colts, coach John Fox and the Broncos agreed to mutually part ways. The Broncos then brought back their former offensive coordinator and former Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak to replace Fox. And Rick Dennison was hired to replace Adam Gase as offensive coordinator.
Asked if working in a new offensive system under Kubiak would be a problem, Manning said at the Super Bowl: “Aside from the Delware Blue Hen wing-T, I feel comfortable in any offense. I really do. I don’t see that being a problem.”
Elway told Manning after the season to take his time in deciding whether he wanted — or could — return for his 18th NFL season.
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 Broncos.
Manning’s $19 million base salary for next season becomes guaranteed on March 10.