If he wants it, Peyton Manning just finished off the perfect swan song to his 18-year NFL career. The 39-year-old quarterback led his Denver Broncos to a 24-10 Super Bowl win over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, overcoming a bevy of nagging injuries in the process.
So it’d make sense if he decided to call it quits on this high note, announcing his retirement amid Sunday’s celebratory champagne shower.
But while Manning was given the perfect chance to do so -- he was asked what his retirement plans were by a reporter moments after the final whistle blew -- he chose to let it pass by, hedging instead by telling the millions of viewers that he still isn’t sure whether we’ll ever see him on the NFL field again.
“I’ll take some time to reflect,” he said.
Rumors have been swirling for a while now that Manning will indeed hang it up following this playoff run. Just days after Manning told New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick that this “might be my last rodeo,” reports claimed that the QB has also already told friends of his impending retirement.
On Sunday, Manning became the first NFL quarterback ever to amass 200 career wins, edging out Green Bay Packers great Brett Favre, who totaled 199 throughout his storied career. If he retires now, he’ll also go out as the signal caller with the most passing yards and most passing touchdowns in league history.
He’s one of the all-time best, whenever he decides to retire. But for now, all we can do is wait for him "to reflect."
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