A lot of talk right now about how the Broncos are "all in" this year, and may be mortgaging their future. I just don't buy it. They have managed their cap space and drafted well for a smooth transition through Manning's retirement.
If Manning plays one more year, I don't see a problem at all. His big chunk of the cap can be redistributed to JT / DT / Von in 2015. If Manning plays two more years, then next year becomes a challenge, because the cap space could be too tight for these three of the rookie contract upgrades. But ...
Won't the Broncos have a chance to give the JT / DT / Von new contracts next year that escalate in year two (or year three), after Manning retires? The players might not accept this structure, but it should still have strong appeal, as a chance to have one more run at the SB with Manning in 2015 ... and they would still get their first big contracts.
Cap problems don't come from spending freely, they come when the value of a player in a given year don't justify their comp. This mostly happens via injury (ie, Champ), or players decline well before their long term deals expire, and true cap jail comes when the players turn out to be useless and cut outright (Raiders ...). Can't predict the injuries, but I don't see crippling long term deals on the books right now. Like Elway himself as a player, Manning should retire still playing close enough to his contract value to not be a drag, then his cap space becomes available the following year.