Despite the chatter, Peyton Manning insists he has not made a decision about his future.
The Denver Broncos’ quarterback was asked point blank at Super Bowl Opening Night if he plans to retire after Super Bowl 50, but he told NFL Network’s Marshall Faulk that he hasn’t decided and is focused on Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers.
“I don’t know the answer to that,” Manning said to Faulk’s question. “I think one thing I’ve done well all season and the team has done well all season is stay in the moment and focus on the task at hand.”
Manning later told reporters he didn’t “see himself knowing” about retirement until after the season.
NFL.com reported earlier Monday that the 39-year-old Manning has told close friends that he will hang it up after Sunday’s game. On top of that, after Denver knocked off the New England Patriots in the AFC title game, NFL Films cameras captured Manning telling New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick that he may retire.
“Hey, listen, this might be my last rodeo,” Manning said. “So it sure has been a pleasure.”
Manning has already played in three Super Bowls, winning one and losing two. Hoisting another Lombardi Trophy would be a nice way to cap off a career, wouldn’t it?
Manning doesn’t back down from HGH allegations
As expected, Manning was asked about the Al Jazeera report that claimed Manning’s wife had HGH shipped to her. He addressed it head on, saying the NFL will find nothing during its investigation into the claims.
“I know exactly what they’re going to find – a big fat nothing,” Manning said. “I respect the rules and regulations of the NFL. They’re important to me. It’s been completely fabricated what that story alleged that I did. Complete junk. That’s what I have to say about it.”
Manning said the NFL’s investigation will take place “after the season.”
“Whatever they have, I welcome it 100 percent,” he said.
Manning picks his MVP
Manning had nothing but praise for his opposing quarterback, Carolina’s Cam Newton. In fact, Manning thinks Newton should win this year’s MVP award.
“He’s just had this incredible year,” Manning said. “There’s no doubt in my mind he’s going to be the MVP. What he’s done in a short time being an NFL quarterback – he’s been awesome. He’s been a great passer. He’s been a great runner. He’s been a great leader. You don’t go 17-1 as a starting quarterback without being awesome. That’s what he’s been this year without a doubt.”
Newton catches plenty of flak for his post-touchdown celebrations, but Manning said he may have a celebration of his own on Sunday – only if he scores on the ground.
“I promise if I run for a touchdown on Sunday, I’ll celebrate,” Manning said.
Manning joked that Carolina may have to adjust his defense after watching his 12-yard run against New England in the AFC title game.
“There’s a good chance Carolina may send somebody to spy me.”
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