The Denver Broncos have officially found their replacement for John Fox. The team announced Monday the official hiring of Gar Kubiak after his stint as the offensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens. While that takes care of the coaching staff for Denver, all eyes are on Peyton Manning as that appears to be the more pressing priority for the Broncos. The quarterback has remained extremely coy about his future with the franchise as Kubiak could help or hurt that decision.
According to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, Manning is completely undecided on his future. The quarterback has until March 9 to really decide what his future with Denver will be. Manning's contract says that his $19 million salary for the upcoming year becomes fully guaranteed if he is still on the roster come the last day of the season. The quarterback is signed through 2016 with another $19 million coming to him then. Manning still needs to take his physical in order to earn that money which could factor into his potential return.
Manning ended the season with a reported tear in his quad which likely played a large factor in the way he played in the NFC divisional game. There has been talk of retirement or potentially going to another team in the upcoming year. John Elway has remained very adamant that Manning returns to Denver, but the Denver Post reports that the Broncos are not panicking because they do like what they see in back Brock Osweiler.
The question is whether Kubiak and Manning will be a good fit. The head coach will operate a heavy air attack that relies on play-action bootleg passes. Manning is not mobile and if the system is going to work, the Broncos need to upgrade their offensive line with more athletic bodies. The potential of this offensive scheme could push Manning away from Denver in the coming season, but right now everyone is in the dark over the idea.
The Broncos also have to continue to build around Manning which means re-signing his favorite targets, Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas. They will be the contract priorities while Wes Welker will only get talked to if there is money left over. CJ Anderson will return at running back and is reportedly excited for Kubiak's arrival.
"I have known about his system for a while, and what he accomplished," Anderson said via The Denver Post. "One cut downhill and go get it. It fits me and the offense well. It's always been successful. He knows the team we have and what we can do. I can't wait to get started working with him."