Report: Broncos undecided on bringing Peyton Manning back

According to a report from Bleacher Report's Jason Cole, the Denver Broncos are unsure whether they want to bring Peyton Manning back next season. "There's a big question here about whether the Broncos want to bring him back for one more year," Cole said.

Earlier in the offseason, the Denver Post reported that Manning wanted to receive medical evaluations on both his neck and thigh before deciding whether to continue his career. March 9 was the date the Broncos told Manning they'd like to know his plans by, as that's the final day the club can exercise their rights on veteran players under contract. Now, Manning is preparing to play next year, according to a report from the New Orleans Times-Picayune, and will begin working with fitness trainer Mackie Shillstone as early as next week.

However, according to Cole, "Peyton is going to have to take a physical before the end of this [league] year in order for his salary in 2015 to guarantee," and "at this point in his career, the Broncos could fail Peyton Manning for any reason, including the four neck surgeries that he's already had."

This is all well and good, but if Manning wants to play, it wouldn't make all that much sense for the Broncos to fail him on his physical. While Manning appeared worn down by the end of the year due to his thigh injury, he was wonderful for the first half of the season -- in Denver's first eight games, he completed 67.3 percent of his passes for 2,572 yards, 24 touchdowns and only five interceptions, good for a 112.0 passer rating. Even in the back half of the season, while playing with the thigh injury, he completed 64.9 percent of his passes for 2,155 yards and 15 touchdowns, and though he drew 10 interceptions, he still managed a 90.3 passer rating, which would still place in the top half of the league in most seasons. It's not like he was brutally ineffective.

Could the Broncos really elect not to bring Peyton Manning back? (Getty Images)

Injuries happen, and he sustained one that clearly hobbled him in the second half of the season and the playoffs. He was sloppy and clearly not right physically in Denver's divisional round loss to the Indianapolis Colts, but he is still barely a year removed from one of the greatest quarterback seasons of all time. And again, when fully healthy in the first half of the season, he did the usual brilliant Peyton Manning things we've all gotten so used to him doing over the years. 

Not only that, but the only other quarterback option on the roster is Brock Osweiler, who has thrown all of 30 passes in his career. The Broncos likely think highly of Osweiler, considering they spent a second-round pick on him in the 2012 draft, but there's been no indication they'd consider handing over the reins. At his end of year press conference, general manager John Elway said he believes Manning has one more year left in him, and both Elway and new coach Gary Kubiak have maintained that Manning can play, and play well in Kubiak's offensive system.

CBS Sports Writer

Jared Dubin is a New York lawyer and writer. He joined CBSSports.com in 2014 and has since spent far too much of his time watching film and working in spreadsheets. Full Bio

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