When Manning was a free agent and rehabbing his neck injury last year, he threw to Stokley. The two were teammates on the Indianapolis Colts, and Stokley enjoyed the finest season of his career when he caught 10 touchdowns in 2004 as one of the Colts’ receivers. Denver’s signing of Stokley last season seemed to be a favor to Manning, but it actually was beneficial for both sides; Stokley caught 45 passes for 544 yards and five touchdowns last season.
Denver’s signing of Wes Welker seemed to put Stokley’s roster spot on the team in jeopardy, but Manning says he would still like to have Stokley back.
“Hope it’s not necessarily a close-door discussion,” Manning said per The Denver Post. “In a perfect world I’d like both of them to be on the team this year.”
Welker likely will serve the role Stokley had on the team, but it’s easy to see why Peyton would still want Stokley back. Stokley is reliable, knows Manning, and knows what Manning is looking for on the field. Between depth chart issues and injuries, I’m guessing Stokley ends up playing with the Broncos at some point this season.