The Denver Broncos are rumored to be losing two giant pieces of their offense — Peyton Manning and one of his favorite receivers, Wes Welker.
After failing to win the Super Bowl for the third time in the dwindling Peyton Manning era, the Broncos entered this offseason with more uncertainty than ever. There were reports that both Manning and Welker were thinking about retirement, though both now appear to be committed to coming back.
Whether they are in Denver next year is a much different story.
Welker was the latest to squash retirement rumors, telling the Denver Post on Monday that he’s committed to playing for another year.
“Just getting ready for 2015,” Welker said via text.
Earlier in the week, sources had told FoxSports.com that Welker was considering retirement after a drop-off in play and a number of mounting injuries. Welker said the reports had no merit.
“Never ever came out of my mouth,” Welker said.
But Welker is an unrestricted free agent, and catching only 50 passes in 15 games this year, the lowest output since 2005, the Broncos may be ready to move on.
Like Wes Welker, Peyton Manning has not officially announced whether he would be back for 2015, but sources say he’s been working with doctors and told the team he is “physically and mentally” ready to be back next season.
But the Denver Broncos are rumored to still be deciding on whether to move forward with Manning. The decision reportedly rests with Broncos president John Elway, but some believe the team could find a way to move on from the aging Manning.
Bleacher Report‘s Jason Cole reported that the team may try to find a reason to fail Manning’s required physical.
“At this point in his career, the Broncos could fail Peyton Manning for any reason, including the four neck surgeries that he has already had,” he said Tuesday in a video on Bleacher Report. “In talking to sources close to the team, there’s a big question here about whether the Broncos want to bring him back for one more year. They’re going to have to feel very comfortable about this.”
If the rumors are true, then the Denver Broncos would likely turn to promising backup Brock Osweiler to replace Manning and last year’s second-round pick, Cody Latimer, to take Wes Welker’s place.
[Image via Getty/Justin Edmonds]