Peyton Manning will get more than just another chance at a second Super Bowl ring if he and the Denver Broncos beat Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in the AFC championship game on Sunday.
The star quarterback also will get a hefty bonus of $2 million. And if he does go on to hoist the Lombardi trophy with his teammates on Feb. 7, Manning will be the recipient of another $2-million bonus.
That’s $4 million extra for winning two more games. Not bad for two days’ work.
Of course, it’s also money that he was scheduled to receive in the first place this year, before agreeing to a pay cut with the Broncos, from $19 million to $15 million in base salary.
Part of that deal was that Manning would be able to earn the money back as incentives -- half for getting to and winning the AFC championship and the other half for making it to and winning the Super Bowl.
Manning struggled during the first half of the season, throwing nine touchdowns to 17 interceptions, even while leading the team to a 7-2 start. He missed the next nine games with a foot injury, and Brock Osweiler looked pretty good in his place.
But Osweiler struggled during the first half of the season finale against San Diego, and a ready-to-play Manning relieved him in the second half. Manning went on to make his first start since November this past weekend in the divisional round of the playoffs, a 23-16 victory over Pittsburgh.
Since returning from injury, Manning hasn’t thrown any touchdown passes but hasn’t been picked off either. More importantly, he led the Broncos to a pair of victories. If he keeps doing that, Denver will likely have no issues with paying him the big bucks in bonuses.
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