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Broncos' Peyton Manning passes neck exam

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Sixty touchdown passes. Fifteen wins. A fifth MVP.

Peyton Manning is as good as ever. The final piece of evidence came Monday.

As expected, Manning passed the exam on his surgically repaired neck that was required by his contract with the Broncos that will pay him $20 million next season, the Associated Press reported.

Manning has said that if doctors tell him he's at risk physically, he'd have no problem calling it a career. He has had four neck procedures, including a spinal fusion that led to his release by the Colts.

At the Super Bowl last month, he talked about how his older brother, Cooper, had to give up football after neck surgeries in high school and college, and how that had a big impact on his life.

"When Cooper got injured, they did a test on me and Eli. I would have been a junior in high school and Eli would have been a sixth-grader, or something. They said our necks weren't picture perfect and didn't look ideal, but they're stable enough to keep playing football," Manning said.

Manning, who turns 38 on March 24, is two years into a five-year, $96 million deal.

Bills: The team won't use the franchise tag with safety Jairus Byrd for a second season. The sides can negotiate a deal before free agency starts March 11.

Browns: They designated free agent Pro Bowl center Alex Mack as a transition player on a one-year, $10.039 million deal.

49ers: Wide receiver and former FSU star Anquan Boldin agreed to a two-year, $12 million deal, $9 million guaranteed.

Dolphins: Pro Bowl cornerback Brent Grimes signed a $32 million, four-year contract, with $16 million guaranteed.

Panthers: They put the franchise tag on defensive end Greg Hardy, for a one-year deal worth $13.116 million.

Redskins: They used a non-exclusive tag, about $11.5 million, on three-time Pro Bowl linebacker Brian Orakpo, who led the team with 10 sacks last season. He can be a free agent, but Washington can match any offer.

Saints: The league designated Jimmy Graham as a tight end for the purposes of his franchise tag value, $7.05 million. The former University of Miami star, who often splits wide, can appeal for a more lucrative receiver's tag.

Steelers: Linebacker Jason Worilds got a transition tag, worth $9.754 million.

Titans: Safety Bernard Pollard agreed to a two-year deal; terms were undisclosed.

Broncos' Peyton Manning passes neck exam 03/03/14 [Last modified: Monday, March 3, 2014 10:16pm]
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