Peyton Manning faded down the stretch in 2014, and many may have forgotten that he threw for over 4.700 yards and 39 touchdowns, leading a 12-4 Broncos team to a first round bye. Granted, I won’t argue that he was spectacular at season’s end, but he certainly represents the team’s best chance of success in 2015. Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post writes that while Manning needs to come back, he also needs to take a pay cut. Even carving $5MM off of his cap number would give the team the flexibility to invest in the offensive line, which could be worth more to Manning than the money at this point.
Here are some other notes from our two West divisions:
- Demaryius Thomas would like to come to an agreement with the Broncos on a long-term contract, but it is more likely that he has the franchise tag placed on him, writes Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com.
- The Raiders are bereft of talent, but new coach Jack Del Rio could look to bring an important piece to the middle of the defense, as the team is expected to pursue defensive tackle Terrance Knighton, according to CSNBayArea.com. Del Rio drafted Knighton when he was with the Jaguars, and the pair traveled to Denver together when Del Rio received the defensive coordinator job with the Broncos.
- The 49ers were reportedly close to hiring former Broncos offensive coordinator and current Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase. However, Gase turned down the job after he was told he would have to promote defensive line coach Jim Tomsula to defensive coordinator, according to Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News. Gase turned down the offer, and Tomsula was hired shortly after.
- 49ers running back Frank Gore is looking for a commitment from the team as free agency looms, writes Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. Barrows writes that while Gore is committed to returning, he is unsure of his future with the team with Carlos Hyde emerging as a playmaking running back.
- Inglewood mayor James T. Butts is confident that football will return to Los Angeles, writes Josh Peter of USA Today. “Let me put it to you this way, buddy: It’s going down,” says Butts. “This is a happening thing. As far as everybody being all in, everybody’s all in.”