Peyton Manning passes physical, will return to Broncos in 2015

Peyton Manning passed his team physical and signed his restructured contract, and will officially be the Broncos' quarterback for a fourth season in 2015. Manning, who turns 39 later this month, accepted a $4M salary cut for this season, with the opportunity to earn it back with victories in the AFC title game and Super Bowl 50.

His contract runs through 2016; his $19M salary for that season reportedly remains unchanged. Everything appears pointed toward 2015 being his last hurrah, but obviously, that will be determined by which Manning shows up.

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Report: Bears looking to move the other Brandon Marshall

Now that he's had the pleasure of coaching the younger, cheaper, and less dramatic Brandon Marshall in Denver, John Fox isn't too interested in the other one. According to the Tribune's Brad Biggs, Foxy's Bears are looking to dump wide receiver Brandon Marshall and his $7.5M salary.

Per Biggs, Chicago would reportedly expect a mid-round pick in exchange for the mercurial soon-to-be 31-year old, whose salary become fully guaranteed next Thursday, March 12.

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Reports: Peyton Manning’s incentives are tied to winning AFC title game, SB 50

According to multiple reports, Peyton Manning's way to earn back his $4M salary reduction is tied directly tied to the Broncos' fortunes in 2015, and is quite simple (to understand, not achieve):

  • Win the AFC championship game, get $2M
  • Win Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara, get another $2M, and presumably, retire

Report: Peyton Manning to accept $4M pay cut for 2015 season

In a significant coup for the Broncos and John Elway, Peyton Manning is reportedly set to accept a $4M pay cut, down to a $15M salary for 2015. Manning's original deal also calls for him to make $19M in 2016; according to Mike Klis, that portion of his deal will remain unchanged.

Of course, this flies in the face of every claim that Manning is a selfish, greedy bastard, and less of a team player than Tom Brady, who has never in his career accepted a pay cut. Per Klis, the Broncos had sought an even larger reduction.

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Texans release Chris Myers, who’d be a natural fit in Denver

According to multiple reports, the Texans have released veteran center Chris Myers after seven seasons with the team. Myers will turn 34 in September and was set to draw a $6M salary in the final year of his contract; he graded out at plus-2.3 over 1,124 snaps in 2014.

Denver drafted Myers in the sixth round of the 2005 Draft, and he started all 16 games for them at left guard in 2007. In one of their odder moves, the Broncos then signed the restricted free agent to a multiyear contract and traded him to Houston for a sixth-rounder that would become Spencer Larsen.

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It looks like the Broncos are hiring Mitch Tanney as head of analytics

If a since deleted entry on the official site is any indication, it appears the Broncos are about to hire Mitch Tanney as their first ever director of analytics:

I don't have a tweet or anything, so there's a little screengrab from my RSS reader just so you (I) know this isn't some figment of my imagination. Also, screengrabs are fun.

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Report: Eagles trading LeSean McCoy to Bills for Kiko Alonso

In what may be the NFL's biggest player-for-player deal since Denver got Champ Bailey from Washington in exchange for Clinton Portis, Philly will trade superstar running back LeSean McCoy to Buffalo next week in exchange for linebacker Kiko Alonso, according to Adam Schefter.

Trades may not become official until the new league year begins, at 4pm ET on Tuesday, March 10.

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Dolphins use transition tag on tight end Charles Clay

Miami pulled a rare move by applying a transition tag to pending unrestricted free agent tight end Charles Clay; the resulting tender is worth $7.071M for one season. The Dolphins would have five days to exercise a right of first refusal for any prospective offer sheet signed by Clay with another team.

But unlike with a franchise tender, there's no draft choice compensation associated with a signed and unmatched offer sheet.

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Broncos use $12.823M franchise tag on wideout Demaryius Thomas

As had long been expected, the Broncos applied their non-exclusive franchise tag to pending unrestricted free agent wideout Demaryius Thomas just ahead of Monday's deadline.

The accompanying tender is worth $12.823M and will count against Denver's cap space immediately, even before Thomas signs the one-year deal. Denver and Thomas now have until 4pm ET on Wednesday, July 15 to agree to a multiyear contract. Once past this deadline, the two sides cannot execute a long-term deal until after the conclusion of the 2015 regular season.

A non-exclusive tag allows Thomas the freedom to sign an offer sheet with another team, but the Broncos would have the opportunity to match, known as a right of first refusal.

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Cowboys tag Dez Bryant

As expected, the Cowboys applied their $12.823M franchise tag on wideout Dez Bryant, who is forever linked with Denver's Demaryius Thomas.

In 2010, the Broncos took Demaryius two picks prior to Dallas's selection of Bryant; there was much debate at the time over whether Denver had chosen the right wideout. Denver has just more than two hours to use their tag on Thomas.