DENVER (AP) – Peyton Manning knows where his paycheck is coming from and the Denver Broncos know who their quarterback will be for the next two years.
The four-time Most Valuable Player was on Denver’s roster Tuesday, the start of the new league year, triggering his guaranteed salary of $20 million a year for 2013 and 2014.
Manning, who turns 37 on March 24, had passed a physical earlier in the offseason, so it was no surprise to see his name on the roster when the league year and free agency officially began Tuesday afternoon.
Because Manning’s health was questionable as he entered free agency last year after multiple neck operations, the Broncos signed him to a contract that did not include a signing bonus. It went counter to the structure of most NFL contracts and gave the Broncos a chance to bail without huge financial damage if Manning wasn’t effective after the surgery.
In turn, Manning got two years guaranteed if he made it into the second season. The last two years of the deal – 2015 and 2016 – are worth $19 million each and are not guaranteed.
In his first year with the Broncos, Manning made $18 million. He threw for 4,659 yards and 37 touchdowns and was recognized as the NFL Comeback Player of the Year.
Also on Tuesday, the Broncos agreed to terms with free-agent offensive lineman Louis Vasquez on a four-year contract worth $23.4 million, with $13 million of that guaranteed.
Vasquez, a third-round pick in the 2009 draft, started all 54 games he played for the San Diego Chargers over his first four seasons.
The signing could mean the end in Denver for right guard Chris Kuper, a 2006 fifth-round draft pick who has had two recent ankle surgeries and only started five games last year.
Denver also brought defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson back, agreeing to terms on a two-year contract with the ninth-year veteran, who started 14 games last season and helped anchor the Broncos’ second-ranked run defense.
– By Eddie Pells, AP National Writer
AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton contributed to this report.
(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)