On March 5, the Denver Broncos organization received an uplifting boost in their cap space as quarterback Peyton Manning agreed to take a pay cut of $4 million. Manning, who is entering his fourth season with the Broncos, is still the team’s highest paid player. His move will help John Elway, the Broncos general manager, in building a stronger squad.
Denver is a team loaded with talent, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. However, Elway’s objective is to build a better supporting cast for the 39-year-old signal caller. Manning is coming off a “one and done” loss to the Colts in last season’s divisional playoffs. He was also hampered by a quadriceps injury, so other players will need to pull their weight.
Elway was the Broncos quarterback from 1983-1998. He led Denver to three Super Bowl appearances during the ‘80s. However, those teams were unable to finish the job in the big game. In the early stages of Elway’s career, the Broncos had non-existent running attacks and average defenses. Denver really had to rely on his talents to win games.
During the ‘90s, Elway had a better talent surrounding him. With players like running back Terrell Davis, tight end Shannon Sharpe, linebacker Bill Romanowski, and defensive end Neil Smith, Denver became a legitimate contender. As a result of those key additions, Elway was able to win back-to-back Super Bowl titles at the end of his career.
Meanwhile, Manning is getting closer to the end of his career. Elway, along with teammates and fans, want to see him finish on a positive note. Taking the pay cut is the first positive step in creating opportunities for free agents around the league. The upcoming NFL Draft will also play a role as well.
When the 2015 NFL season kicks off, Manning will enter his 18th season of professional football. He has set team and league records, won big games and earned a Super Bowl ring with the Colts back in 2006. Manning is still searching for that second piece of jewelry. It all comes down to piecing together the right formula to help him earn it.