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Report: Peyton Manning Taking Pay Cut to Return for 18th Season

Former Colts quarterback and current Bronco Peyton Manning is returning to the NFL for an 18th season and taking a pay-cut to help the Broncos, ESPN's Chris Mortensen and Jeff Legwold confirmed today. The Broncos play the Colts in Indianapolis in 2015.

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In what has been the worst-kept secret in the NFL over the past few weeks, Peyton Manning will be returning to the Broncos for his 18th NFL season.

Today, ESPN's Chris Mortensen and Jeff Legwold reported that Manning had agreed to take a $4 million pay cut in 2015 (that he can reportedly earn back with incentives) and that the legendary signal-caller will be coming back for another season in Denver.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Peyton Manning ready to take $4 million pay-cut on deal in final stages; he&#39;ll make $15 million, not $19 million, per <a href="">@Jeff_Legwold</a> &amp; myself</p>&mdash; Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) <a href="">March 4, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script>

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>From <a href="">@mortreport</a> and me ... <a href="">#Broncos</a> and Manning have completed terms of deal pending physical Thursday and the formal signing Thursday.</p>&mdash; Jeff Legwold (@Jeff_Legwold) <a href="">March 4, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script>

And, as if you needed any more confirmation than a Chris Mortensen report about Peyton Manning (which is as good as it coming from the Manning family), the Denver Post's Mike Klis talked to Manning himself and Peyton said, "I'm excited to be back with the Denver Broncos."  The deal will not be officially announced for another day or so, as Manning has to take a physical Thursday as stipulated by his contract and then will sign the modified deal, making it official.

With Manning returning to the Broncos for a fourth season, he will face his former team for the fourth time, as the Broncos will come to Indianapolis in the 2015 regular season.  The Colts beat Manning and the Broncos in number 18's return to Indy in 2013, but the Broncos evened the score by defeating the Colts in week one of the 2014 season.  In the most recent meeting between the two teams and in the one with the most on the line, an injured Manning and the Broncos fell to the Colts in the Divisional Round of the playoffs in the signature win of the Andrew Luck era so far for the Colts.  The fourth meeting between the greatest player in Colts history and his former franchise will take place this fall, and this will be the second such meeting in Indianapolis.

In 17 prolific seasons (most with the Colts), Manning has played in 256 games and completed 65.5% of his passes for 69,691 yards, 530 touchdowns and 234 interceptions for a passer rating of 97.5.  Manning will almost certainly pass Brett Favre for first place all-time in career passing yards, as he needs just 2,207 to tie the mark, and he set the career touchdown pass mark last season.  His 97.5 passer rating ranks as the third-best of all-time (behind just Aaron Rodgers and Tony Romo).