Hold that gold watch. Peyton Manning is taking one more shot at the silver trophy.

Weeks of speculation about the five-time MVP's future ended Wednesday with word that he's returning for an 18th season in the NFL and fourth in Denver.

A person with knowledge of the situation told the Associated Press that Manning will take a $4 million pay cut, from $19 million to $15 million, but that he can make it all back through performance incentives. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because there was no official announcement of the deal.

Manning, who is still scheduled to make $19 million in 2016 in the final season of the five-year contract he signed in 2012, will take his physical and sign his revised contract Thursday.

Manning mulled retirement after the Broncos' playoff loss to the Indianapolis Colts. But he determined he still had the health and hunger to keep playing at age 39, when he tries to become the oldest quarterback to win a Super Bowl.

Manning, who won a title with the Colts in 2006, met with General Manager John Elway a few weeks ago after taking some time to decompress from an arduous season and told him he wasn't ready to retire.

The $4 million savings won't drastically change Denver's free agency plans. It gives Elway about $20 million to work with, but much of that will go to his own restricted free agents and a large draft class.

After dealing with a nagging thigh injury that hampered his performance down the stretch, Manning worked out this offseason in New Orleans with physical trainer Mackie Shilstone, renowned for helping athletes extend the twilight of their careers.

Marijuana backer

Speaking at a marijuana business conference in Denver titled "Sports, Meds and Money," former Broncos tight end Nate Jackson called on the NFL to allow medical marijuana as a means to help players deal with the physical and psychological pain and head injuries inherent to their profession.

League spokesman Greg Aiello told the Associated Press on Wednesday: "At this time, the medical advisers to our drug program tell us that there is no need for medical marijuana to be prescribed to an NFL player."

Roster moves

• Center Chris Myers, who started all 112 games in his seven-year career in Houston, was released by the Texans. Myers, 33, holds the NFL's longest active streak for consecutive games played for an offensive lineman (153).

• The Philadelphia Eagles released linebacker Trent Cole. Cole, 32, ranks second in Eagles history with 85 sacks in 10 seasons. He was a two-time Pro Bowl selection.

• Running back Pierre Thomas is being released by the New Orleans Saints after eight seasons with the club, his agent confirmed.

• Restricted free-agent wide receiver Cole Beasley re-signed with the Dallas Cowboys for four years.

Hernandez trial

Prosecutors in the Massachusetts murder trial of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez will not be allowed to introduce evidence about the shooting of a Hernandez friend in Florida a few months before the killing, Superior Court Judge Susan Garsh ruled Wednesday.

Hernandez is on trial for the June 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd, who was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancée.


Organizers behind a proposed stadium for the Oakland Raiders and the San Diego Chargers in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson filed paperwork to bring their plan before voters.