The Denver Broncos have continued to reiterate this offseason that quarterback Peyton Manning does not have a deadline to announce whether he will retire, but Broncos general manager John Elway conceded on Thursday, saying that the team eventually will need a decision.
"I met Peyton two evenings ago and we sat and chatted for a couple hours and I think that the thing that's amazing is we're only two-and-a-half weeks out from the Super Bowl," Elway said, via Pro Football Talk. "Obviously everyone wants to know what Peyton is going to do and after 18 years in this league he deserves some time to think about and enjoy the game but also get away for a little and kind of figure out exactly what he wants to do."
While the Broncos general manager wants to give his Super Bowl winning quarterback time to make his decision, he did say that he expects to have a decision before the March 9 deadline, when Manning's $19 million base salary becomes guaranteed. "Yeah and we will, and that's hopefully what we're going to do," Elway said. "Until we get there and until we absolutely need that we're going to give him that time to continue to, obviously when he gets farther away from the game and clears his head a bit, he could kind of see where he wants to go."
The Broncos front office has some major decisions to make this offseason, and Manning's 2016 salary could clear a ton of cap space for the team to focus on their free agents should he decide to retire. Denver is reportedly seeking a long-term deal for Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller, which could open options for the team to re-sign quarterback Brock Osweiler.
Denver's front office is clearly looking to a have future plan in place without Manning but are leaving the door open for the two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback. While the Broncos have not placed a specific deadline on the future Hall of Fame quarterback, it's implied, as the organization plans to know his decision by March 9.