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With Peyton out, is Osweiler deal next for Broncos?

The biggest domino in the Denver Broncos organization dropped with the news that Peyton Manning will announce his retirement on Monday. Will a new contract for Brock Osweiler act as domino No. 2?

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Saturday that Denver has a deal on the table for Osweiler worth nearly $45 million over three years. It's unclear at this time how much of that $45 million offer is guaranteed by Denver.

This qualifies as middle-of-the-pack compensation in the current signal-caller climate. Rapoport said Sunday on NFL Network that the offer is "not enough to get the deal done at this point."

It is a solid starting point, however, and expect talks between the two sides to go into overdrive with free agency upon us. The Broncos absolutely cannot risk letting Osweiler hit the open market during a time when there are multiple quarterback-starved teams ready to make an aggressive play for an inexperienced-but-promising passer.

Beginning on Monday at noon ET, other teams can speak to and negotiate with the representation of impending free agents like Osweiler, though no deals can be made. With details of Denver's offer out in public, a team like the Browns or Texans has the opening to pitch a more attractive offer. The official start of free agency is Wednesday.

Add it up and Osweiler has all the leverage. It's highly unusual for a veteran quarterback with such little playing experience to command compensation like this, but a number of factors have conspired in Osweiler's favor.

One key question: How far can the Osweiler camp push the Broncos before the Broncos push back? And if talks reach a stalemate, is it realistic to think Osweiler could actually end up hitting the jackpot on the open market with another team?

Consider it a big upset if Osweiler doesn't stay home. The Broncos have invested four years in his development and believe in his star potential. As for Osweiler, he can retain stability in a familiar system and continue to contend with a defending Super Bowl champion.

It all makes sense, but we'll see how much the timing of Manning's departure increases the degree of difficulty for Broncos general manager John Elway. An interesting couple of days lies ahead.

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