NFL

Peyton Manning To Officially Retire

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Chris Mortensen of ESPN is reporting that Peyton Manning will retire from the NFL.

“When you look at everything Peyton has accomplished as a player and person, it’s easy to see how fortunate we’ve been to have him on our team,” Broncos executive vice president of football operations and general manager John Elway said in a statement. “Peyton was everything that we thought he was and even more — not only for the football team but in the community. I’m very thankful Peyton chose to play for the Denver Broncos, and I congratulate him on his Hall of Fame career.”

Manning’s career should be celebrated as one of the greatest of all time.  He put up gaudy statistics, won a pair of Super Bowls, and routinely made everyone on his offenses better.  He is the all-time leader in fantasy points and finishes his postseason career with a 3-2 record against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

“It was a blessing to coach Peyton Manning. Nobody worked harder at the game and nobody prepared harder than Peyton,” Kubiak said in a statement. “His preparation was the best I’ve ever seen with how he went about his business. There was nothing like his work habits. Each and every week, he did everything he could to get ready to play not only against the defense but even against the coordinator.

“Being with him this season, going through what we went through and accomplishing what we accomplished — that was special. He and I battled together and along the way we talked about dreaming that it could end the way it ended. And I’ll be damned, it did.”

With that said, he had virtually no choice but to walk away. 

The Broncos had to make a $19 million decision on Manning by Tuesday and filling out retirement paperwork would have been much better for the Broncos than filling out the paperwork required to release the future Hall of Fame quarterback.

If Manning were to try to play in 2016, there wouldn’t have been many interested parties.  In fact, there isn’t one team that could justify bringing him in for anything more than a ticket-selling ploy.

So where does everyone go from here?

The Broncos turn their focus to re-signing Brock Osweiler as he’s scheduled to become a free agent.  Early reports show the team willing to offer upwards of $15 million per year for the quarterback who started just seven games.

The team will save $19 million off their cap which they need to reallocate to getting a long term deal done, not only with Osweiler, but also Von Miller, who the team franchised on Tuesday.

Manning will likely head to a TV network in the short term, as he’s intelligent, funny and natural in the role.  Every network will bid for his services, and it’s an easy way for him to repair his image following the recent bad publicity of an HGH investigation and the 20-year old story stemming back from college about an alleged sexual assault or prank, whoever’s side you believe.

He will continue to peddle his products and likely expand his numerous business interests.  Eventually, it seems that Manning would be a perfect fit to be part of an ownership group for an NFL team, possibly the Tennessee Titans in the short term.  Manning is a football addict and will likely need to get back in at some point.

The NFL loses a marquee spokesman, but it’s a league built on brand, not stars.  They won’t suffer and television ratings will likely improve again next season.


About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.