Peyton Manning Ready To Play — But Should He Retire Instead?

When Peyton Manning stood dejected on the field following the Denver Broncos’ loss to his former team, the Indianapolis Colts, many thought it was over for him.

When Manning was asked if he would be back for the 2015-16 NFL season, the veteran quarterback admitted that he wasn’t sure.

“I guess I just can’t give that simple answer… I can’t say that [I’ll be back next season]. I could not say that.”

Apparently, enough time has passed for Peyton to come up with a definite answer, as it’s now being reported that the 38-year-old will indeed return for at least one more season.

According to ESPN, sources say that Manning has personally assured Denver Broncos officials of his intentions to stay. General Manager John Elway was reportedly among those he reached out to. Peyton Manning met with franchise officials on Thursday, but there is reportedly nothing final about his position in Denver.

Those details aren’t expected to emerge until sometime next week.

Peyton Manning to meet with the @Broncos before the Combine: http://t.co/rJw8HMlmI0 pic.twitter.com/sKPYzDmwkT

— NFL Now (@NFLNow) February 14, 2015

In the meantime, there has been much speculation as to whether or not Manning could opt to retire if the Broncos decide they don’t want him back.

ESPN sources say that retirement is an option that is still on the table for Peyton Manning. Some football fans and pundits have already expressed the belief that now is as good a time as any for Manning to step down from professional football.

Mike Foss at USA Today wrote that it is “time” for Peyton retire in his For The Win article.

“[Manning will] feel right again in August. He’ll look great in September and October. But come November, when the Broncos hit their eighth or ninth game, he’ll slow down again. he’ll slow down because that’s what happens when you’re 39 and you get hit for a living.

“We saw Manning wrestle with that realization on the podium following the game. He said he doesn’t know if he’ll return.

“[P]eyton Manning, like everyone else, can’t turn back the clock. Now he has to decide what to do with the time remaining.”

Brett Favre also voiced the opinion that Peyton Manning should strongly consider retirement. Favre admitted that he “sympathized” with Manning, having been in a similar position several years ago.

“Part of you really wants to redeem yourself, not that you need [to].

“That’s the thing, you don’t need the redemption, [you’ve] done everything, but there’s [still a feeling of], ‘I don’t want to go out like that.'”

Ultimately, Peyton Manning’s decision has come down to a sense that he has more to give. And perhaps so long as that sense outweighs any urgency to leave his legacy along and retire, we’ll be seeing more of Peyton Manning in the future.

[Image Credit: Elsa/Getty Images Sport]