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Peyton is nailing down his next $40 million

Denver Broncos v Carolina Panthers

CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 11: Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos calls an audibe against the Carolina Panthers during play at Bank of America Stadium on November 11, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Broncos won 36-14. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

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Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning soon will be able to buy a lot more pizza franchises.

Overlooked in the stunning performance of the four-time MVP is that he has all but guaranteed that the Broncos will opt to unlock the next two years of his contract, which will guarantee Manning another $40 million with only one small caveat.

Sure, he signed a five-year, $96 million contract. But the thing was written to give Denver an out after one year. If the Broncos choose not to pull the plug, they’ll pay Peyton $20 million in 2013 and $20 million in 2014, unless during the 2013 season he suffers an injury to the exact area of his neck that required a quartet of surgeries.

“By no means was it a slam dunk,” Elway recently told the Associated Press regarding the decision to roll the dice on Manning. “But we knew after we did our homework and looked at the situation, it was the best thing for us. We were willing to take that risk. There’s always risk to it, but we liked our chances.”

It’ll be less of a risk to sign on for another $40 million over two more years. Given the way Peyton is playing, $40 million over two years could end up being a bargain.