On Tuesday night, reports surfaced from Benjamin Allbright, a sports talk personality in Denver, that the Denver Broncos were in talks earlier this offseason with the Houston Texans about trading Peyton Manning. At 39 years old, Manning was still highly productive in 2014 but fell off considerably the second half of the campaign, raising questions about how effective he can be in 2015.
If this report is true, and it has been confirmed by CBS Sports, it’s hilarious. The Broncos not only forced their future Hall of Fame quarterback to take a $4 million cut in pay, but actually tried to trade him so the Brock Osweiler Experience could get underway. Is general manager John Elway kidding?
Everybody is always enamored with the backup quarterback until the guy has to actually play. Osweiler has thrown 30 career passes in three seasons. Hey, anytime you can get a guy who has basically never thrown a meaningful pass to replace a living legend, you have to do it.
This all goes back to Elway trying to get the Gary Kubiak era up and running. Kubiak runs an offense that requires a mobile quarterback, something Manning certainly isn’t. So why fire John Fox (who has been to a pair of Super Bowls) to hire Kubiak (who has reached the playoffs twice) when you are still riding the Manning train? It seems counterproductive.
If the Broncos had traded Manning, the Kansas City Chiefs could have started printing up the AFC West champions flag yesterday. As it is, the Chiefs have the best roster in the division and should be able to handle Manning and his bros for the first time since he arrived in 2012.
Ultimately, this dialogue that Elway reportedly had with the Texans shows that he doesn’t believe this is a championship contender. If Elway thought the Broncos could win the Super Bowl, he would give Manning a loaded roster to take another run with. It also shows that Elway is going to cut Manning after this season if he doesn’t retire, save $19 million against the cap, and build around Osweiler.
That last sentence makes me a very, very happy man.