Life After Peyton Manning? Denver Puts Its Neck on the Line

MILE HIGH – Peyton Manning is having a season for the ages, passing for 5,477 yards, 55 touchdowns, and a 115.1 passer rating in the regular season; all league highs. Not only has Manning played at a mile-high rate this regular season, but his dominant play has continued into the post-season. The former Indianapolis Colt has led Cookie’s Broncos to the AFC Championship for the first time since the 2005 season… and Manning’s first since 2009. So sure, things are rosy out in Denver but what about… Life After Peyton Manning?

Will this be Peyton Manning's last season under the bright lights?
Life after Peyton? Papa John’s can’t wait!

Manning raised eyes earlier this week when he spoke to reports about his future:
“The light is at the end of the tunnel for me, no question,” said Manning, according to ESPN.

Sources “familiar with Manning’s mindset” have told ESPN’s Chris Mortensen that the Broncos quarterback will undergo a mandatory exam in March to determine his future in the league. Two season’s removed from an off-season full of neck surgeries, the All-Pro quarterback will use the exam, which was implemented into his contract, to determine the stability of his medically-repaired neck. If the neck is stable, the former Tennessee Volunteer will continue his career in Denver. However, if the results reveal a problem with the 37-year-old’s neck, Manning may be forced to retire.

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Peyton Manning retiring? That’s not possible! Peyton Manning is on his way to a fifth Most Valuable Player Award, one game away from the Super Bowl, and is arguably the best quarterback in the National Football League right now. Sadly, Peyton Manning retiring is a very real possibility, a possibility that no one is ready for; especially Denver Bronco fans.

Brock Osweiler Steps Up: The Arizona State alum is in his second year in the league. When Osweiler was drafted in 2012, the selection came in the 2nd round only one month after Manning had been signed. The selection was a round or two too earlier, but Osweiler had one of the highest upsides in his draft class. However, starting a quarterback that was drafted as a prospect in his third year may be a bit too early. But a couple years learning under Peyton Manning could do a lot for a player, and it’s not like Osweiler is inheriting a bottom dwelling team either.

Could Michael Vick be a possible Post-Peyton Option?
Vick a Post-Peyton Option?

The Broncos Sign Micheal Vick In Free Agency: Let’s be honest, Micheal Vick will not be a Philadelphia Eagle in 2014. Yet, Vick still has the talent to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. A dual-threat quarterback with all of the Broncos offensive weapons, Wes Welker, Julius Thomas, and Demaryius Thomas, the former Eagle would flourish with this team. Michael Vick in a Broncos uniform could be the best option to lead Denver back to the playoffs.

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Draft A.J. McCarron: This Alabama quarterback has a lot of potential. Chances are good the Broncos miss out on Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel, or even Derek Carr since they’ll be selecting in the back end of the first round. Luckily for Denver, McCarron might be the match made in heaven they are looking for. The McCarron is not one of the top five quarterback prospects in this draft class and won’t be a first or even second round pick, but he has one thing these players don’t… A knack for success. The ‘Bama quarterback had plenty of success in the college game winning two BCS National Championships in three years as a starting quarterback, and should be ready to succeed in the next level.

Tune in for Fake Sandy Alderson, tomorrow.

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About DJ Eberle 223 Articles
DJ Eberle: The youngest of our team, DJ is also the largest. Offensive Tackle Large. In fact, this Albany native used OT for Western New England University - until he graduated in May of 2014. Like Junoir Blaber, he's a regular on Rugby Wrap Up - his dad played rugby with The Matts. His cross to bear, however, is his love for the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres. As for baseball and basketball, it's the Yanks and Atlanta Hawks. Follow him on Twitter: @ByDJEberle.