Peyton Manning has an understandable exit path he could well take soon after claiming a second Super Bowl championship. But he did not want to rush to a decision Sunday night in order to not deflect any attention from his teammates and the Broncos’ third title, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes.
The 39-year-old quarterback told media he’s following the advice of former coach Tony Dungy in not making an emotional decision, which, as Florio writes, would be to retire. The PFT writer notes Manning became emotional in an interview with CBS Sports’ Bill Cowher taped earlier in the week when the former Steelers coach broached the subject of being a good teammate.
Manning has one more season on his five-year, $96MM Broncos contract and would, as of now, occupy $21.5MM of Denver’s 2016 salary cap.
Here is more on Manning’s potential decision after he became the first signal-caller to start and win Super Bowls with two different franchises.
- Manning’s mother, Olivia, concurs with the popular notion he should walk away after 18 seasons, via Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times. “I would like for him to retire,” Olivia Manning told Farmer. “I would. Physically, I just don’t think it’s worth going on. He won a Super Bowl — it’s the best way to go out.” This season marked the first time Manning missed games due to a non-season-ending ailment, with his partially torn plantar fascia costing him six games.
- The Broncos’ needing to re-sign Brock Osweiler will represent a component of Manning’s decision to retire, Rich Tandler of CSNWashington.com writes. Osweiler, who went 4-2 for the Broncos in games he played throughout, is an unrestricted free agent, and Tandler doesn’t see the 25-year-old signing for anything less than $12MM per season. That figure would put him on par with the contract Nick Foles signed with the Rams last year and would be the lowest salary for a Broncos starter since 2011. Von Miller, Malik Jackson and Danny Trevathan are also free agents who will see significant pay increases, either from the Broncos or other teams, so Denver will have to make tough choices. Tandler expects Manning to announce his retirement in “one or two” weeks.
- Jim Souhan of the Star Tribune wonders what’s next for Manning after getting ring No. 2. Souhan writes that watching Manning win the Super Bowl while completing 13 passes was like “watching Jimi Hendrix play the tambourine.” After the game, Manning made sure mention Budweiser-brand beer twice, which Souhan takes to be a hint of his future plans. NFL players are not allowed to endorse alcoholic products so one can infer that Manning no longer considers himself to be an NFL player.
- After winning the Super Bowl, Manning has no choice but to retire, Christine Brennan of USA Today opines. Manning didn’t play particularly well on Sunday night and he even acknowledged that it was his defense that willed the team to victory. “I was just glad I was on the same team as our defense and didn’t have to play against them,” he said. Manning, soon to be 40, went 13-for-23 for just 141 passing yards with an interception and no touchdown passes. Of course, there are also lurking HGH accusations stemming from a late December documentary, though Manning vehemently denies any involvement in using PEDs.
Zach Links contributed to this report