It has been all over the news lately that the past NFL season very well may have been the last for Peyton Manning’s career. If indeed he does bow out, which seems more and more likely every day, hall of fame former NFL league executive and Indianapolis general manager Bill Polian tells Sirius-XM Radio’s NFL program that Manning would make an excellent GM and would be able to start immediately.
Peyton has accomplished a lot during his 18-year career, which is amazingly long for an NFL player. Manning has won the regular-season MVP award five times — more than any other player in history — and been in the pro-bowl 14 times. It seems that now, coming off a Super Bowl win, is a logical time for Peyton to turn in his uni and call it quits.
Peyton’s play makes him a no-brainer for the NFL hall of fame, but Polian thinks he may have what it takes to find his way into the GM’s hall of fame as well.
Bill does not only see GM potential in Peyton Manning because of his finely honed talent and obvious deep understanding of the game, though; he told Sirius-XM that Manning has a great mind for off-field matters, too.
“During our 14 years together in Indianapolis, he would often discuss with me prospects coming out in the draft, SEC players he’d seen, players he’d seen in other parts of the country. He pays close attention to the rosters of the other players in the league, with specific attention to the AFC.”
“I believe he could very quickly fill the role that John Elway fills with the Broncos,” Polian continued in regards to Manning, also referring to John Elway, the current Broncos GM.
“He knew the strengths and weaknesses of every player on every defense in the AFC and many on offense, because he met them and got to know them at the Pro Bowl and soaked up information. He is a football nerd, as am I. He’s more than prepared to do that job.”
It makes sense that Manning has such a remarkable mind for football. When you are over 39 years old and still playing in a league as incredibly demanding as the NFL like Peyton, you have to have some serious ability beyond strength and agility, which both wither with age.
Polian is confident Peyton Manning, unlike most GMs who have to go through years of management training in the minors, could begin his new general managing role in the big leagues right away.
“All he would need would be a brief tutorial on the league rules and things like the general terms of trades and contract language — of which he’s also very familiar, because of his own contract. He’s well-prepared to do that. He could step right from the playing field into a role like that, because he’s ready. I don’t know that he will, but if someone wanted him to do it, he would be ready immediately to do it.”
We could possibly see Peyton Manning step onto the field in a new GM role as soon as this September.
It would be almost unprecedented to see Peyton begin manning a team (see what I did there?) at 39-years-old, as the youngest NFL GM ever is the New Orleans Saints’ Ryan Pace, who is 37. Manning has been noted for his team leadership and teammate coaching tendencies in the past, though, and he now has the ringing endorsement of one of the greatest to ever run the front office, so who’s to say Peyton can’t defy the odds?
As for the team that Peyton Manning will begin his GM career with, it’s still a bit of a toss-up. He has close ties with both the Tennessee Titans and the Cleveland Browns, according to Pigskin, but they have both already hired GMs recently.
Manning commands immense star power, though, and just the fact that Peyton Manning is managing the team would probably be a huge selling point for whatever organization does decide to hire him, so you can be sure he would not be lacking for options if he did decide to GM next year.
Only time will tell what lies in store for Peyton Manning’s 2016-2017 NFL season.
[Photo by Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images]