While general manager John Elway maps out plans to keep his team intact, the Denver Broncos are enjoying the spoils of their Super Bowl victory.
There’s the talk show circuit, anticipation of big financial rewards and the memory of a million fans at the parade celebrating the Broncos’ first championship since 1999.
The Lombardi Trophy has been taken to owner Pat Bowlen’s house. The 71-year-old owner is battling Alzheimer’s and he watched the Broncos’ 24-10 win over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 from his home in Denver. Team president and CEO Joe Ellis said family members Skyped with Bowlen during the postgame celebration Sunday.
As the confetti and celebrations begin to settle, the Broncos await word on Peyton Manning’s future.
He’s due $19-million (U.S.) in 2016 but is widely expected to retire after becoming the oldest quarterback to win a Super Bowl, capping a tumultuous year in which the 39-year-old Manning was sidelined six weeks by a foot injury.
Elway is mapping out plans to keep his team intact for a run at another title no matter who’s under centre.
Elway will likely have to place the franchise tag on Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller, who said he thinks negotiations on a megadeal will be “peaceful.”
Elway also has big decisions to make on free agents Brock Osweiler, Malik Jackson and Danny Trevathan, among others.
The Broncos have already signed all nine members of their season-ending practice squad to reserve future contracts, including Ryan Murphy, the safety who was sent home from the Super Bowl after he got caught up in a prostitution sting a few miles from the team hotel. Murphy wasn’t charged.
Headlining that group was wide receiver Jordan Taylor, a standout at training camp who helped Manning in his comeback by running countless routes for the quarterback as he worked his way back into playing shape from a torn plantar fascia near his left heel. Manning thanked the rookie from Rice by buying him a custom-made Super Bowl suit.
Other members of that practice squad include tight end Nick Kasa, who watched the Broncos’ 20-18 win over New England in the AFC championship from the stands only to realize the following day when he got his phone fixed (he had dropped it at the game) that the Broncos had been trying to reach him to sign him to their scout team.
The nine practice squad players will officially return to the roster on March 9 when the 2016 league year begins.
Manning made an appearance this week on NBC’s Tonight Show, where he had some fun with little brother Eli’s blank stare following Denver’s game-sealing touchdown in the closing minutes.
Von Miller made fun of Manning on the Ellen DeGeneres show. Asked by the host if Manning had retired, he responded, “I think he had to rush out to do a Life Alert commercial.”
“I don’t think he’s going to retire though,” Miller added. “I don’t think he’s going to retire. He still has the physical ability and the mental ability to go out there and be great. So I still think he has a little bit left in him.”
Miller said negotiations on his contract will be peaceful and he hopes to stay in Denver for a long time: “I mean, I want to stay with the Broncos for 15 to 20 years, but money talks, right?” he said.
DeMarcus Ware, Chris Harris Jr., Brandon Marshall and C.J. Anderson also have made appearances on talk shows this week.Report Typo/Error