A surefire Hall of Famer who expected to once again lead the Denver Broncos into the playoffs next season, quarterback Peyton Manning might actually have been a Houston Texan this offseason.
According to a report from Denver radio station 94.1 FM host Benjamin Allbright, who cited anonymous sources, the Broncos nearly completed the deal that would’ve made Manning a Texan and again member in the AFC South.
Allbright took to his Twitter account to state he couldn’t verify the report with comments from either team, but defended the speculation by stating:
Have two unrelated official sources on this, would be a hilariously oddly coordinated lie, if what they were telling me was untrue.
— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) June 23, 2015
Essentially, the report suggests that some in the Broncos organization think its time for backup Brock Osweiler to begin his era as the team’s signal caller.
Manning, 39, is coming off his 14th Pro Bowl season after throwing for 4,727 yards and 39 touchdowns for a 12-4 record and the AFC West crown. But Denver lost to Manning’s old team the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Divisional round and couldn’t build off their Super Bowl appearance in 2014.
He joined the Broncos in 2012 after missing all of the previous season due to a serious neck injury that nearly forced Manning to retire. The Colts would release Manning between the 2011 and 2012 seasons after 14 years under center.
The idea that Denver would trade Manning does seem far fetched, but ProFootball Talk pointed out how Manning wanted a no-trade clause inserted in the extension he signed with Broncos earlier this year due to his relatively low $15 million salary for the upcoming season.
Manning also contemplated retirement after falling short last season, but believed he could still compete at the highest level. He even took a bit of a pay cut in his new deal that included performance incentives.
The Texans certainly have myriad questions at quarterback and could have certainly used Manning’s services as they look to build a contender around Defensive Player of the Year and MVP candidate J.J. Watt.
Though Houston did sign Brian Hoyer to lead the offense, and have young passers Ryan Mallett and Tom Savage on the roster, Manning would theoretically provide an immediate impact on the Texans' playoff hopes.