As soon as John Elway hit the door Wednesday at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, he was inundated with questions about whether Peyton Manning would return to play football this season.
Mike Klis of the Denver Post quoted Elway as saying, "[Peyton] hasn't made a decision yet."
Based on many fans' comments, a large majority of you expect Manning to return and are currently debating whether or not he will take a pay cut.
My gut feeling has been that the Broncos did not ask him to take a pay cut; they literally asked him whether or not he wanted to play.
The result of that meeting is that he needed more time, contrary to ESPN's Chris Mortensen's report. I am aware that Mortensen has basically been an unpaid member of the Manning family, but at the risk of outing his probable source, I have to wonder whether that source was attempting to lure Manning back via fan inveigling.
Head coach Gary Kubiak said during his press conference he had the chance to visit with [Peyton] quite often in the last couple of weeks "and it’s been very good. We visited about a lot of things but no football."
"He’s very positive in his talking to me; he was very positive with John [Elway] when he came to town last week," Kubiak said. "So we continue to move forward, and I’ll let him and John work that out."
Manning did appear earlier this week on Saturday Night Live's 40th Anniversary, and during his interview with Carson Daly on the red carpet show, Daly did not ask the quarterback if he will be playing football next season.
Though Daly is not known for talking football, he has had a late night show for around 15 years, been an interviewer for even longer than that and is currently employed by NBC's The Today Show. My best guess is that Manning's publicist let Daly know not to ask about football prior to the interview.
The writing is on the wall at this point and reflects that Manning is the one holding the cards, not Elway.
And while Denver fans debate about whether Manning will take a pay cut, I would guess Peyton's doing his best just to figure out whether he wants to play football next season.
Imagine a season without Peyton Manning.