Peyton Manning met with Denver Broncos officials on Thursday without an announced resolution about Manning’s football future, multiple media outlets reported Thursday.
According to ESPN, Manning flew from New Orleans to Denver aboard Broncos owner Pat Bowlen’s plane with CEO Joe Ellis where he met with Ellis and team vice-president and general manager John Elway.
NFL Network reported that Manning returned to New Orleans Thursday night and that a final decision is expected before the Denver brass goes to next weeks’ scouting combine.
Manning has been in his home town in recent days receiving a physical evaluation from noted trainer Mackie Shilstone before his meeting with Elway and Ellis.
The Broncos have until March 9 to decide whether they would bring back Manning for his 18th NFL season and fourth with the Broncos. The five-time league MVP quarterback is due a $19 million guaranteed contract if he is on roster by that date.
He would count $21 million against the salary cap.
While Manning has compiled one of the most prolific quarterback careers in NFL history, including being the league’s career leader in touchdown passes, his status for 2015 has been in question since Denver’s loss to Indianapolis in the AFC Divisional playoffs.
After the 24-13 week in which Manning threw for only 213 yards, it was revealed that the five-time league MVP had played the final month of the season with a torn right quad which severely limited his throwing ability.
However, more in question is the condition of Manning’s surgically-repaired neck on which he had procedures performed in 2011, causing him to miss that season and leading to his release by the Colts.
Manning must pass a physical before signing with the Broncos.
According to ESPN, there are concerns within the Denver organization about potential problems that in the areas just above or below the fusion since that is where any degenerative issues would occur.
“If there is any hesitation on the Broncos part, Peyton obviously wants to hear it from them,” a source close to the situation said earlier this week.
The source also said that the neck situation was the reason for Manning’s consulting with Shilstone, with whom he has never worked before but has known for several years.
However, one of Shilstone’s specialties is extending careers of athletes and the source said that if Manning does play this season, he would begin working out with Shilstone.
The source close to Manning said Manning was not interested in continuing his career with any team other than the Broncos.