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Peyton Manning back for 18th season

2015-03-06 13:54
Peyton Manning (File)

Englewood - Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning passed his physical and signed his revised contract on Thursday.

"We're glad to work something out with Peyton so that he will be part of our team this season," Broncos general manager John Elway said.

The five-time NFL MVP agreed on Thursday to a $4 million pay cut to $15 million, but he can earn all of it back through incentives, according to a person with knowledge of the deal who spoke on condition of anonymity because the details weren't publicized.

He'd get $2 million each for winning the AFC title and the Super Bowl.

Manning mulled retirement after the Broncos' playoff loss to the Indianapolis Colts. But he determined he still had the health and hunger to keep playing at age 39, and keep pursuing another Super Bowl title.

Manning, who won a Super Bowl with the Colts in 2006, met with Elway a few weeks ago after taking some time to decompress from an arduous season, and told him he wasn't ready to retire. Elway asked him to take a pay cut, and the sides hashed out a new deal on Wednesday.

The deal was contingent on him passing his physical.

Every year, the Broncos medical staff takes a look at his surgically repaired neck to make sure there's not any degeneration in the discs above and below the ones that were fused in 2011.

Manning didn't meet with reporters after visiting team headquarters to get a clean bill of health, and put his signature on the revised contract, which still calls for him to make $19 million in 2016.

Manning, who turns 39 on March 24, will return to Denver for the start of offseason workouts on April 13. Then, it's time to adapt to new coach Gary Kubiak's West Coast offense and continue his pursuit of a second Super Bowl trophy.

Manning has a 179-77 record in the regular season. He's led the Broncos to the best record in the NFL in each of his three seasons in Denver but, each time, the team unraveled in the playoffs: A 35-point Super Bowl loss to Seattle, and two stunning home flops following first-round byes.

He has half as many Super Bowl titles as brother Eli.

Manning owns most of the significant quarterback records, and is 2,148 yards shy of breaking Brett Favre's career yardage record of 71,838, and seven victories short of breaking Favre's record of 186 career wins.

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