The No. 1 storyline revolving around Super Bowl is undoubtedly the future of Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, and whether he’ll choose to retire following tonight’s contest. Nearing age 40, Manning surely knows this is his last and best opportunity to win a second Super Bowl ring, and he’s obviously motivated to do so. But Manning also has a financial stake in the game, in the form of a $2MM incentive negotiated into his contract nearly a year ago.
In March of 2015, Manning agreed to a $4MM paycut, lowering his base salary from $19MM down to $15MM. However, Denver inserted clauses that allowed Manning to earn that money back: he’d get $2MM for winning the AFC Championship Game, and another $2MM for winning the Super Bowl. Obviously, he’s already secured that AFC title game incentive, and now the Super Bowl payday is on the line.
Needless to say, an extra $2MM probably isn’t needed to motivate Manning for tonight’s game (especially given that he’s earned nearly $250MM during the course of his career). Regardless, we’ll all be waiting to see if Manning announces his retirement after the Super Bowl, as he’s reportedly told friends that he plans to do. If not, however, he probably won’t be retained by the Broncos, and the Rams are one club that has discussed the possibility of pursuing Manning.
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