(SportsNetwork.com) - Peyton Manning will play an 18th NFL season on a reduced salary in 2015, agreeing to a $4 million cut with the Denver Broncos.
ESPN first reported the news that Manning will have his pay slashed from $19 million to $15 million next season, with the Denver Post confirming the news. The Broncos are expected to make an official announcement Thursday once Manning takes and passes a physical exam.
According to NFL.com, the five-time NFL MVP can still earn the $4 million back in incentives.
Manning is entering the fourth season of a five-year, $95 million contract he signed with the Broncos in March of 2012. The soon-to-be 39-year-old has started every game during his tenure with the club and led Denver to an AFC championship in 2013, though his struggles near the end of last season and the Broncos' plans to make changes on offense under new head coach Gary Kubiak led to speculation that Manning would consider not returning.
It marks the first time in Manning's storied career that he has agreed to a pay cut.
The team is budgeting $12.823 million to account for the franchise tag designated Monday for wide receiver Demaryius Thomas. Tight end Julius Thomas, defensive tackle Terrance Knighton and offensive lineman Orlando Franklin are set to hit the market.
Manning finished second in the NFL with 39 touchdown passes this past season after throwing for a league-record 55 in 2013. The NFL's all-time leader in that category finished last year's campaign with 4,727 passing yards and a 101.5 quarterback rating.