Mike Klis of 9News in Denver reports that the Broncos are holding off on discussions with Osweiler "out of respect" to Manning, who has not decided (or announced) whether he intends to keep playing or retire after 18 seasons in the NFL.
The Broncos would certainly like to get final word from The Sheriff with free agency fast approaching. Osweiler was a second-round pick in 2012 who spent most of the past four seasons as Manning's backup. He made seven starts this season, posting a 5-2 record, but was moved back to the bench before the start of the playoffs.
Osweiler represents a potential predicament for the Broncos, who believe in the quarterback's potential but also may be put in a position where they have to overpay to keep a player with a very limited track record. The franchise tag is also an option, though paying the untested Osweiler in the range of $20 million for one season doesn't seem to make much sense -- especially if they need Von Miller insurance.
Manning must notify the team of his 2016 plans no later than March 8. After that date, the final year of Manning's five-year contract -- a salary of $19 million -- is fully guaranteed. Osweiler, meanwhile, is set to become a free agent on March 9. The Broncos likely wish to start fresh with Osweiler, but having a living legend coming off of a Super Bowl win complicates matters.
In other contract news, Klis reports that the Broncos have begun "negotiating in earnest" with Malik Jackson, an underrated star on Denver's defensive line who scored the first touchdown on a fumble recovery in Super Bowl 50. To this point, not enough progress has been made to stop Jackson from testing the open market, according to Klis.
Broncos general manager John Elway will be a busy man as he tries to clear up the quarterback picture and work out a long-term solution for Super Bowl MVP Von Miller. If Jackson hits the market, he could be a hard fish to reel back.