Peyton Manning made headlines last week when he was filmed by the NFL Network telling Patriots head coach Bill Belichick that this might be his last rodeo. The idea of retirement from Manning is certainly not new. Many believed the quarterback was planning on leaving last season, but he returned, got injured, returned again and is now preparing for the Super Bowl. While the media continues to poke at the quarterback for a hint on what he is thinking about for the future, Manning is staying focused on Sunday and nothing after that.
Manning has not made a definitive statement on what his future holds. While many believe retirement is the next step, the quarterback himself has not said a word. When asked by ESPN's Chris Berman about whether or not he will play in 2016, the quarterback simply said, "I've stayed in the moment, focused on the task at hand."
This will not be the first time Manning gets this question this week. With Super Bowl Media Day approaching, every reporter will ask about his future. They can likely expect the same response that Manning gave Berman. The reality is the Broncos will have quarterback questions this offseason. Manning could be gone while Brock Osweiler has an expiring contract. The team could be without quarterback options quickly.
Broncos general manager John Elway told the media via the Denver Post that he intends to keep Osweiler heading into 2016. Extending the quarterbacks contract show not be too difficult. He is not set to earn some kind of max deal having just a handful of starts under his belt. The Broncos could get away with a short-term contract and then see how things pan out. Regardless, Osweiler will not be cheap. With doubts around the rookie pool in the NFL Draft, Osweiler becomes a favorable option for teams that do not want to shell out money for Sam Bradford. Denver could find themselves getting outbid for the backup quarterback.
The draft could be where the Broncos find their next star. The issue is that no one appears ready to start immediately. Carson Wentz has become the new favorite and even he is not a home-run hit. Jake Coker, Kevin Hogan and Cody Kessler in a later-round could be where the Broncos go for a quarterback and then potentially find a stop-gap option for next season.
Denver will be awaiting a decision from Manning. Elway will not force the quarterback to make it quickly, but with a heavy cap hit in 2016, Denver will need an answer so they can move on and determine their best options for the future.