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Elway: We're still waiting for Manning's final decision

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INDIANAPOLIS -- John Elway maintains that he wants Peyton Manning to return to the Denver Broncos in 2015. The only thing left for Manning to do, according to the general manager, is give final word that he wants in.

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"Let me say this, we're hopeful Peyton comes back and we want him back," Elway said Thursday at the NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. "As I said after the season, we wanted him back and we still want him back. You know, he's not given me a definitive answer, exactly what he wants to do, but we're hopeful he's gonna come back."

Elway's comments came as a surprise after multiple outlets, including NFL Media, reported that Manning communicated to Elway he'd like to return during a face-to-face meeting last week in Denver.

Elway refused to put a deadline on Manning's final decision. When a reporter cited March 9, the date Manning's $19 million salary becomes guaranteed, Elway repeated himself.

"He's got all the time he wants," Elway said.

Elway was asked about reports that Manning's contract represents a hurdle to his return for a fourth season in Denver.

"I think that the bottom line is I don't like to get into anybody's contract and discuss anything about contracts," Elway said, "but just know that I believe he'll be back and I believe that he'll be our quarterback."

We should note that all this quarterback talk occurred with Elway standing about 12 feet away from a large support pillar that featured the towering visage of Peyton Manning from his Colts days. There's a heavy-handed metaphor in here somewhere ...

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