(Reuters) - Peyton Manning ended speculation over his playing future when he signed a restructured contract with the Denver Broncos for the 2015 National Football League season, the team said on Thursday.
The 38-year-old quarterback, who led Denver to a Super Bowl berth and three division titles since joining the team in 2012, had everyone waiting with bated breath about his plans since suffering a playoff loss in January.
”Well, we’re excited it’s over,“ Broncos general manager John Elway said in a statement. ”Glad that we could move on and that Peyton’s going to be a part of this team and hopefully win a championship next year.
“We’ve got to put the best football team together we possibly can, so we’re glad that Peyton’s going to be a part of that.”
Manning, a five-time league most valuable player, has reportedly agreed to accept a salary reduction from $19 million to $15 million for next season, his 18th in the league.
”I’ve been working real hard and I‘m excited to be back with the Denver Broncos,“ Manning told the Denver Post. ”Can’t wait for April 13 to get here when the team can finally come together.
“I‘m excited to get to work and get to know the new coaches and looking forward to trying to make 2015 a special year.”
After Denver’s 24-13 divisional round playoff loss to the Indianapolis Colts in January, Manning had been noncommittal about his NFL future.
With the hiring of Gary Kubiak as Denver’s new head coach, questions had surfaced about Manning’s likely role in the Broncos offense, but those have since been quashed.
“I‘m excited Peyton is returning, and I look forward to working with him and all our players starting next month,” said Kubiak.
“We have a big challenge ahead of us, meshing a couple of systems. That’s something we needed to get a head-start on and we’ve done that.”
Manning is coming off the second-best season of his career in terms of passing yards (4,727) and third-best in passing touchdowns (39).
During his time in Denver, he has totaled 132 touchdowns (131 passing, one rushing) and 14,863 passing yards and an average passer rating of 107.8.
Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Frank Pingue