Manning reportedly met with John Elway on Thursday to discuss the possibility of returning for a fourth season in Denver. His $19M salary becomes fully guaranteed on March 9.
Gary Kubiak completed his first Broncos coaching staff by adding assistant wideouts coach Marc Lubick (son of former longtime CSU coach Sonny) and assistant secondary coach Samson Brown. Lubick worked under Kubiak for four years in Houston, with other stints with the St. Louis Rams as a scouting assistant, at CSU as a receivers and tight ends coach, and most recently at Vanderbilt, where he coached wideouts for one season. Brown has worked as an assistant in the NFL with the Jets and Bills, and at several college programs in New York state prior to that.
Peyton Manning, chaperoned by Joe Ellis, flew to Denver on Thursday and met with John Elway to discuss his near term future, but is not yet ready to announce a decision, according to Mike Klis. Manning's team physical will take place sometime between Feb 23 and Mar 5, and his $19M salary becomes fully guaranteed on Mar 9, the final day of the 2014 league year.
All signs have pointed to Manning returning in 2015, and Klis says Thursday's meeting is another positive indicator. Earlier in the week, Jason Cole reported that Elway & Co. weren't absolutely certain about wanting Peyton back.
Pending unrestricted free agent Wes Welker is seriously considering retirement after 12 seasons, according to Mike Garafolo. In 2014, Welker played only 27 snaps fewer than he did in 2013, but his production fell off signficantly - from 73 catches, 778 yards, and 10 touchdowns, to 49 catches, 464 yards, and two touchdowns.
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.