End of Peyton? 3 issues the Broncos must address this offseason

BY foxsports • January 11, 2015

The Denver Broncos' impressive run through the regular season was halted in Sunday's AFC divisional round loss against the Indianapolis Colts.

A first-round bye wasn’t enough to overcome a sputtering offense that had been tailing off over the past six weeks.

Turning the page to the offseason, FOXSports.com takes a look at three issues the Broncos must address moving forward.

Coaching staff shakeup? After three consecutive seasons of at least 12 wins, Broncos head coach John Fox could be the latest victim of a firing, according to FOX Sports NFL insider Jay Glazer. Despite a Super Bowl appearance a season ago, John Elway understands that time is of the essence as quarterback Peyton Manning enters the twilight of his career. If Fox is relieved of his duties, he surely would be of interest elsewhere. Furthermore, offensive coordinator Adam Gase and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio have been long-rumored to be head coaching candidates next season. No matter the outcome of the divisional round, it was going to be a challenge to keep this coaching staff intact.

Considering Manning's future: Manning will turn 39 this offseason and one has to wonder what the future holds in store for the future Hall of Famer. Over the course of the final four weeks of the season, Manning didn't appear to have the same zip on his passes and had a dreadful 3-to-6 touchdown-to-interception ratio over that span. While Manning has said that he intends to return for an 18th season, he is required to undergo an annual postseason exam on his neck before his salary is guaranteed.

Re-signing the Thomases: As two of Manning's favorite targets are set to hit the open market, Denver brass must be prepared to open their wallet. Wide receiver Demaryius Thomas was reportedly offered more than Percy Harvin's $13 million annual average, but he declined as he hopes to be paid among the highest at his position. Thomas, who set a franchise record in receiving yards, certainly goes into this offseason with some leverage. Tight end Julius Thomas has been a great bargain ($645K in 2014), entering the league as a fourth-round pick, but expects to be paid handsomely moving forward. A Jimmy Graham-sized contract ($10M a year) might not be necessary, but Thomas' services should be compensated accordingly.

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