Peyton Manning has faced retirement rumors for the past several years, but speculation is rising that 2015 could finally bring the end of the line for the future Hall of Famer.
As each of the last few NFL seasons came to an end, speculation rose about whether the NFL MVP is ready to hang up his cleats. Manning put an early end to the speculation this year, saying that he wants to return to the Denver Broncos in 2015 if they will have him.
“I certainly plan on being back if the Broncos will have me,” Manning said via the Denver Post.
But NFL predictions for 2015 indicate that the next season could be Manning’s last. Though Peyton himself has not set a date for when he would like to play in the NFL, he has given indications that his career is nearing an end. When the Broncos quarterback visited New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter this offseason, Manning said he was “not far behind” the now-retired Jeter in terms of retirement.
At the time, Manning said it was hard for him to give up the camaraderie of the huddle.
“When you don’t play football anymore, you can broadcast, you can coach, you can be in management, whatever, but you are not allowed to go into the huddle anymore,” Manning said. “That huddle is just for players. You can go into the locker room after the game and you can speak to the team, but I think any retired player would probably tell you they miss the huddle.”
Peyton Manning also gave indications of his retirement date just before the start of the season. After fellow Hall of Fame shoo-in Tom Brady said he planned to play until he “sucked,” Manning echoed the sentiment.
“Brady said he was going to play until he… sucked,” Manning said with a smile. “That’s a pretty good line. I’m kind of the same feel. I don’t have a set number.”
But if the 2015 predictions hold true, then the Peyton Manning retirement rumors may only be picking up steam. Manning’s play has dropped off considerably over the course of this season, and there are rumors that he is starting to get interested in owning a team one day, leading many to believe that his retirement is in the very near future.