CHICAGO: Peyton Manning must decide within two weeks whether or not he is retiring so the Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos can move forward with plans that might involve reserve quarterback Brock Osweiler.
After the Broncos defeated Carolina 24-10 in Super Bowl 50 earlier this month, Manning refused to address his future plans, not wanting to upstage the team’s moment of glory.
Manning was the oldest starting quarterback in Super Bowl history at 39 and many expected to see him retire after the season after collecting his second NFL crown.
But Manning has made no public comment on his status since the title game and now he faces a March 8 deadline because his $19 million salary for the 2016 campaign would become fully guaranteed the next day.
Osweiler, who filled in for Manning while he was hurt late last season, would become a free agent on March 9 and would be expected to command a contract worth up to $15 million.
Even with that looming, Broncos coach Gary Kubiak says he and general manager John Elway are not feeling any pressure for a quick announcement by Manning.
“There’s no hurry here,” Kubiak said. “We want him to enjoy what just took place and we’ll go from there. Nothing has changed there. I think he and John have had some conversations, and I had a brief one with him. We want him to take his time, and we’ll go from there.
“There are obviously time frames in our business, but we kind of went through this last year and we’re going to go about it how we did it last year.”