Recent speculation from all corners suggests Peyton Manning wants to play in 2015. However, Jason Cole reports that the Broncos and John Elway aren't certain about wanting Manning back, especially if he's only going to play for one more year. As transcribed by FOX Sports:
At this point in his career, the Broncos could fail Peyton Manning for any reason, including the four neck surgeries that he has already had. In talking to sources close to the team, there's a big question here about whether the Broncos want to bring him back for one more year. They're going to have to feel very comfortable about this.
Prosecutors have dismissed domestic abuse charges against Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy, who reportedly came to an out-of-court settlement with his accuser. Hardy had been convicted by a judge of assaulting and threatening to kill his ex-girlfriend, but Hardy appealed the ruling, and was set to face a jury trial.
Hardy's accuser provided key testimony during the first trial, but was reportedly reluctant to endure another court case; prosecutors have been unable to locate her since November, and it appears Hardy has paid her off to disappear.
The Browns are the latest team to face the possibility of losing a draft choice this offseason over in-game rules violations. Cleveland team executives, including GM Ray Farmer, are accused of texting then-OC Kyle Shanahan during games with suggestions of play calls. This meddling is apparently part of what prompted Mini Shanny to ask out of Cleveland.
We've seen some unclear reports as to when Peyton Manning's neck examination must occur by, but Jeff Legwold has more of the details. Per Legwold, the annual exam must take place at least 10 days before the new league year starts, at 4pm ET on March 10.
That 10-day stipulation would actually appear to place the exam deadline on February 28 (Legwold says it's March 1), but if Chris Mortensen is correct (as he usually is in matters relating to Manning, as both are represented by CAA), Peyton figures to announce his return long before then.
According to Alex Marvez, the Broncos have hired longtime college and NFL assistant Fred Pagac (PUG-itch) to coach their outside linebackers. Since 1978, Pagac has coached linebackers for Ohio State, Oakland, Kansas City, Minnesota, and Buffalo, also holding defensive coordinator duties for the Buckeyes and Vikings.
In Denver, the former Bears and Bucs tight end will have the great fortune of coaching up Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware.
As has long been expected, the Falcons are expected to announce on Tuesday the hiring of Seahawks DC Dan Quinn as their next head coach. Denver was said to be very interested in Quinn after they fired John Fox, but once Gary Kubiak expressed his willingness to interview for the job, the respective hirings of Quinn and him became virtual inevitabilities.
Peyton Manning may announce as early as this week that he's returning for the 2015 season, according to Chris Mortensen, who writes:
Manning has been fairly persuaded that all will work well between him and new head coach Gary Kubiak, who is ready and willing to fit his scheme to play to the quarterback's strengths.
The NFLPA continues to believe the NFL is lowballing the 2015 salary cap estimate at $138.6M-$141.8M. In response, the players' union plans to release its own estimate next month, ahead of the national combine.
It's a legitimate concern for the players, as the league has consistently underestimated salary cap forecasts in the past. The initial predictions for 2014 had the cap around $126M, but the final number was significiantly higher, at $133M.
The Broncos announced on Wednesday the hiring of Joe Woods as their defensive backs coach. Over the past 11 seasons, Woods has held that same position in Tampa Bay (2004-05), Minnesota (2006-13), and Oakland (2014).
Woods, 44, has apparently not worked with Wade Phillips or Gary Kubiak before; in Minnesota, he worked under Leslie Frazier; in Tampa Bay, he worked under Monte Kiffin and tutored Raheem Morris, who was his assistant secondary coach.
The Broncos have brought back Wade Phillips to be their defensive coordinator, it was announced on Wednesday. In his first Denver stint, Phillips coordinated the Broncos defense from 1989 to 1992 and took over as head coach for two seasons after the firing of Dan Reeves.
He was something of a placeholder head coach for Mike Shanahan, who turned down the head job in 1993 but returned two years later. According to various reports, Phillips may again be taking a temporary position, as Vance Joseph's contract in Cincinnati will be up after 2015.