ENGLEWOOD, Colo. - The Denver Broncos want to give Peyton Manning "as much time as he needs'' to make a decision about retirement, but the team would likely need to know in a month what the quarterback intends to do.
The 39-year-old Manning said following Sunday's 24-10 victory over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 he wanted to "take some time'' to decide on his future. He missed seven starts this past season after he suffered a tear in his plantar fascia near his left heel.
And in the season wrap-up Tuesday morning, Broncos executive vice president of football operations/general manager John Elway said both the team and Manning would take some time to let the Super Bowl soak in.
"We're going to enjoy this, let Peyton enjoy this,'' Elway said. "I'm sure he'll sit down with his family. Eventually we'll talk to him too and go through that. There's no timeline for that right now.''
There is a deadline of sorts waiting next month.
Manning has one year remaining on the original contract he signed in 2012. And the $19 million base salary becomes guaranteed on March 9 and the deal counts $21.5 million against the salary cap. That means the Broncos would certainly like to know before that date, since their available cap space is greatly impacted by what happens with Manning.
This past season the Broncos and Manning worked out a $4 million pay cut for the quarterback, but they left the 2016 part of the contract alone. Manning made the $4 million back with $2 million bonuses each for wins in the AFC Championship Game and the Super Bowl.
"Important thing is, it's going to be his decision,'' Elway said. "Where we get a chance to sit down and talk to him that's up to Peyton, where he is in that process, what he thinks he can ... what he wants to do from here on out.''
Elway, who retired as a player after the Broncos' Super Bowl win to close out the 1998 season, said he understood the dynamics of Manning's decision.
"In talking about retirement, that's what's hard, you can butt up to that line and then crossing that line, taking that final step, saying 'I am moving on,' that is very -- even if that first 99 percent is easy to get to, that last one percent is as hard as that first 99 percent ... That's why he's going to have the time he needs and it's basically going to be up to him.''
Manning's father said this past week that he believed Manning was done playing in Denver and that it would "hard'' for Peyton Manning to change teams again.
"I don't know why Archie (Manning) would say that," Elway said. "We're going to give Peyton plenty of time to think about what he wants to do.''
Elway also addressed the Broncos' other big offseason question, which is linebacker Von Miller's contract status. The Super Bowl MVP is slated to be an unrestricted free agent in March.
The Broncos do have a franchise player tag they could use to keep Miller off the market as the negotiate a long-term deal, a tactic the Broncos have used in recent years for kicker Matt Prater, tackle Ryan Clady and wide receiver Demaryius Thomas this past season.
None of those players played under the franchise tag as the Broncos worked out a deal before the season started. Elway said Tuesday he'd like to get a deal done for Miller as well.
Miller said Monday he expected talks with the team to be "peaceful.''
"The goal is always to get a long-term deal,'' Elway said. "But again back into the same old process of trying to include everybody in what we're looking at, looking at it from the 20,000-foot view of how this team's going to look, not only next year, but two or three years down the line ... our goal is always to be competitive year in, year out.''
Miller, who has rebounded from the 2013 suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy as well as a torn ACL that year, roared through the postseason and closed it out with 2.5 sacks and two forced fumbles in the Broncos' win over the Panthers.
"I still say it I have not seen a guy more talented physically than Von,'' Elway said. "It was a matter of channeling all of those things in the right way ... I'm extremely happy for him ... I think he's matured, think he's grown up quite a bit. That's a credit to him and the people around him ... he's grown up tremendously and I think DeMarcus Ware has had tremendous effect on him too, and Von has responded.''