Late last week, the NFL made plans to interview most of the players implicated in the infamous Al Jazeera America documentary on performance enhancing drugs. That list of interviewees included currently players like Packers linebackers Julius Peppers and Clay Matthews and Steelers linebacker James Harrison as well as free agent Mike Neal. Peyton Manning was the biggest of the big names to be mentioned in the documentary, but he was not on the docket since he is no longer an active player. However, that has now changed. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy tells Mike Florio of PFT that the league office will meet with Manning.
While all of the other players will be interviewed roughly around the start of training camp, the exact date of Manning’s interview with the NFL is not yet known. The league still does not have the authority to force Manning into an interview, but his desire to work in an NFL front office has likely compelled him to cooperate. On top of that, as Florio notes, Manning would be in an awkward position if the accusations regarding Peppers & Co. were found to have merit while he did not consent to an interview.
Shortly after the documentary aired in December 2015, Manning went on the offensive and pronounced to the world that he would sue Al Jazeera for defamation. Months later, however, Manning backtracked from plans to bring legal action. If Manning’s lawsuit flip-flop raised eyebrows in the football world, he may have an opportunity now to silence critics by cooperating with the NFL’s investigation.
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