Despite going 38-10 over the last three regular seasons, the Denver Broncos reportedly offered Peyton Manning in a trade to the Houston Texans. Only it wasn’t actually serious.
Well, sort of.
“I’m guessing that they were swinging for the fences a little bit,” Broncos insider Brandon Krisztal said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “From a PR standpoint, you can’t trade Peyton Manning away (for) anything really other than a No. 1, even at this point in his career. (He’s a) guy that has put up huge numbers in the three years he’s been here – even last year with 39 touchdowns. He struggled toward the end of the year, and obviously a lot of that was physical with his quad bothering him. But I don’t have any hard evidence that they got far enough along to where a realistic trade scenario ever presented itself.”
Manning threw for 4,700+ yards and nearly 40 touchdowns last year. Very few quarterbacks could do that, especially in their age-38 season, especially when they’re not fully healthy.
Which is why it would have been premature for the Broncos to move on from Manning.
“I think it’s premature that folks – whether they be fans or in the media, especially national media – were quick to write him off after that poor performance against the Colts,” Krisztal said. “Go back and watch that Colts game. On the second, third, fourth play of the game, Peyton gets hit in both legs, and from that point on, that’s when he got jumpy and was throwing the ball poorly. And then later in the game, his quad really started to bother him. When you’re a quarterback that Peyton Manning is that doesn’t have the arm strength of, say, an Aaron Rodgers or a Jay Cutler – or even his boss, John Elway, had – you have to have your body working at 100 percent. Look at how productive he was for the last four or five weeks of the year. I think he’s got not a little bit of football left in him, (but) plenty of football left in him.”
In fact, Krisztal does not believe 2015 will be Manning’s last season.
“I don’t,” he said. “I think Peyton is a guy that believes in honoring contracts both ways. When he signs a five-year deal with the Broncos, he plans on staying here for five years. He didn’t do all that work coming off those four neck surgeries (to not finish a contract). Sure, he’s going to end up setting every single record as long as he’s somewhat close to healthy . . . and he could end up putting some of these way out of reach or pretty darn close to out of reach. I think he not only plays this year, I think he plays next year. And with that no-trade clause . . . if the Broncos decide they want to release him, I wouldn’t be surprised if he signs a two-year deal somewhere just to prove everybody wrong. At the end of the day, Peyton Manning is a quarterback first and foremost. And as long as he can be effective doing that, I think we’re going to see him out there not just this year, but at least into the 2016 season.”