The trial period is over.
Now that Peyton Manning has survived his first season as a Bronco the team's financial commitment to him is set in stone - unless the release Manning after the the season which we all know isn't going to happen.
Had things not worked out this season, Denver could have bid farewell to number 18 without financial penalty. According to Pro Football Talk, Manning's deal was only guaranteed for one year. But, now that he's headed toward a second year, the Broncos are on the hook for a full 20M in 2013 and another 20M in 2014. The only circumstance that might allow them off the hook for any of the 40M would be if Manning sustained another injury to his neck, in which case they would not be held responsible for paying Manning in 2014.
If Manning is a playoff choker, he's our playoff choker. And his salary is huge. The opportunity cost in terms of the salary cap could be enormous. Fortunately, there's no reason to believe that Denver made the wrong decision. Despite Saturday's painful loss, the Broncos will remain a force in the AFC mostly thanks to Peyton.