Peyton Manning to Return, Take Pay Cut

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    Butch Jones and Peyton Manning talk before the 2014 Georgia game

    Butch Jones and Peyton Manning talk before the 2014 Georgia game

    Vol legend and current Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is returning for at least one more year – his 18th in the NFL – the team confirmed on early Thursday afternoon, confirming multiple reports and indicating that he passed his physical on Thursday as well.

    Manning, who is 38-10 as a starter over the past three years, and the Broncos have negotiated a $4 million pay cut from his scheduled $19 million dollars for the upcoming season, giving the salary-cap strapped organization a touch of relief.

    “I’ve been working real hard and I’m excited to be back with the Denver Broncos,” Manning told the Denver Post. “Can’t wait for April 13 to get here when the team can finally come together. I’m excited to get to work and get to know the new coaches and looking forward to trying to make 2015 a special year.”

    Manning hinted that he was unsure of his future after a frustrating second-round playoff lost to his former franchise, the Indianapolis Colts. His production dipped in the second half of the season, something many attributed to his age, though reports surfaced after the season that he had been playing with a torn quad.

    Manning’s two top target targets – receiver Demaryius Thomas and tight end Julius Thomas – both have expiring contracts. The Broncos have placed the franchise tag on Demaryius, but Julius is expected to test the free-agent market in the coming weeks.

    Manning, who played at Tennessee from 1994-97, is a 15-time Pro Bowl selection and a five-time NFL MVP.