The Denver Broncos have to rehire Peyton Manning.
They have to, or the Broncos will be a different team next season.
It’s a tough pill to swallow for Manning.
The Broncos have already lost star running back Knowshon Moreno and quarterback Trevor Siemian to free agency, and they also need to address a defense that ranked 29th in the NFL in yards per play last season.
Manning was the league’s top quarterback in 2015, but he is entering the final year of a five-year, $96 million deal that has not paid off.
Manning has one year left on his contract, but the Broncos are already preparing for the possibility that he will be gone by the time the franchise moves to Las Vegas.
If Manning can’t win a Super Bowl, the Broncos should look to other options.
In 2017, the Denver Broncos will likely have two starting quarterbacks in Connor Cook and Paxton Lynch, who are both in their 30s.
They also have two backup quarterbacks in Trevor Siemien and Pa’Amore Williams, who both are in their late 20s.
There is a real chance that Manning and Siemien could play together in 2018, though the quarterback competition will likely be stiffer than the one in 2015.
The problem is, Manning is coming off a down season, and his production has been erratic.
He had just four touchdowns and three interceptions in 2016, which was the lowest total of his career.
The quarterback position is always going to be an issue for the Broncos this year, but Manning is the problem.
There are still plenty of teams who would love to have Manning as a free agent.
The Denver Chargers are one of those teams, and it would be a huge move to keep Manning.
In 2018, the Chargers would give the franchise another quarterback with the ability to thrive in a new system, and that is exactly what the Chargers did when they signed Philip Rivers to a five year, $62 million deal.
They are one step closer to having a quality quarterback, and Rivers is the perfect candidate to do that.
The Chargers have also taken a huge step forward in the running game this offseason with Melvin Gordon and Melvin Gordon Jr. The duo combined for 937 rushing yards last season, the most in franchise history.
The two were both second on the team in rushing yards per game, but Gordon was the more efficient back in terms of yards per carry.
With the addition of Gordon and the addition in free agency of running back C.J. Anderson, the San Diego Chargers are poised to be one of the best teams in the league in 2018.
The offense could be even better this year with a healthy Gordon, and the defense should be better too.
The only question for the Chargers this offseason will be who is going to take over for Peyton Manning when he is gone.
That could be Cook, Siemien, or Williams.
In the end, the question is what does the Broncos need more than anything.
The question is, who is the most talented quarterback in the game right now?
What would it take for the team to make the move that could finally bring Peyton Manning back?