Marqise Lee, Big Ben in London, Peyton Manning
How much longer will Peyton Manning play quarterback for the Denver Broncos?
His intention, according to the Denver Post, is to fulfill the entirety of the five-year contract he signed with the Broncos in 2012. That would mean that Manning would remain with the team for three more seasons.
According to the Post, Manning, who will be 41 years old by the final year of the agreement, is due to earn $15 million this season and $19 million per year in 2015 and 2016. His cap numbers are $19.5 million this year and $21.5 million in each of the final two seasons of the agreement. Given that the salary cap is increasing by $10 million this season and is expected to make similar jumps in ’15 and ’16, Manning’s contract should fit fine, as long as he’s playing at the level he has the past two seasons.
“Anytime you sign a five-year contract – it’s really five one-year deals in many ways – I think that needs to be your goal,” Manning was quoted as saying in the Post. “The team made plans to where they want a quarterback for this long so they can then fill spots here and there. That’s what you try to do.
“You understand that when you get to this age – and (Broncos president) John (Elway) understands.”
FALCONS OWNER SAYS LONDON COULD BE CALLING TWICE FOR NFL
Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank, whose team will play a regular-season game in London this season, says he can envision one and possibly two NFL clubs playing all home games there.
“The games in London, I think are a tribute to the NFL, a tribute to the fans there, the quality of the game – and I think that it’s proved conclusive that fans will come out when they see the real players playing games that are really meaningful, as opposed to NFL Europe,” Blank told Peter King of MMQB.com. “So I think – and all three of the games (in London) for 2014 sold out immediately, 240,000 tickets – the league, as you know, has been in discussion about a fourth game, in discussion about games beyond that. There’s been discussion about potentially having a franchise in London. I’m very optimistic.
“I think it will start with an increased number of games. That will be translated into a very successful series of games, and eventually, I think a franchise. And maybe more than one. London’s a big city.”
JAMES IHEDIGBO: LIONS’ DEFENSE WILL DICTATE WHAT OFFENSES DO
There isn’t another player on the Detroit Lions who is better qualified to discuss the ins and outs of the defense they’ll be using this season than safety James Ihedigbo.
After all, he previously played for the Baltimore Ravens, whose secondary coach the past two years, Teryl Austin, is now the Lions’ defensive coordinator.
And, according to Ihedigbo, this version of the Lions’ defense will be more aggressive than ever.
“Our defense, we dictate what offenses are doing,” Ihedigbo was quoted as saying in the Detroit News. “We don’t let them dictate to us anything. We control the game, and that’s our mindset. When you go against us, you’re going to be going against a hard-hitting, vicious, physical team on defense and on offense.”
MARQISE LEE SAYS HE’S HEALTHY, READY TO HELP JAGUARS
It has seemingly been one injury after another for Jacksonville Jaguars rookie wide receiver Marqise Lee.
A series of injuries through his final season at USC were considered the primary reason that Lee, once thought to be a first-round pick in last month’s NFL Draft, wasn’t selected until the second round. Add to that a jammed wrist he suffered during OTAs with the Jaguars.
But Lee stresses that he is fully healthy and ready to do his part to make the Jaguars’ offense better.
“Most of (the injuries), I couldn’t control,” Lee was quoted as saying by Yahoo Sports. “I got hurt once blocking; it was just a fluky thing. Most of them were just things that I couldn’t control. I was annoyed, but I did what I could when I was hurt – mental reps, watching teammates, encouraging them, learning from them. Little things.
“If you’re competitive like I am, you prepare and you just get yourself ready for the next time up. That next time for me is now. I still got things done (when I was hurt), and I hope to get more down now.”
ED REED SAYS HE CAN ‘STILL PLAY’ AND IS PREPPING FOR THE SEASON
Safety Ed Reed is among the more prominent names among unemployed NFL players.
He found himself out of work after not one, but two, teams released him last season. Reed, who underwent hip surgery during the 2013 offseason, spent seven games with the Houston Texans before they showed him the door, and then spent seven more games with the New York Jets.
Reed told the Baltimore Sun he is “still preparing to play” in the 2014 season, but isn’t discouraged by the struggles he had with two clubs last season.
“I know I can still play,” said Reed, adding that he did not plan to participate in training camp. Of course, if he did sign a contract with a team after the first week of the regular season, the deal would not be guaranteed, thus possibly making him more attractive than he would be now.>>Be sure to tune in Monday through Friday, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET, for “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford” on ESPN 850 WKNR or catch the live stream right here on ClevelandBrowns.com. We take your questions at 216-578-0850 and via Twitter @Browns_Daily.