The idea that Super Bowl 50 may be Peyton Manning’s final NFL game isn’t an absurd one. The Broncos quarterback has had a roller coaster year with plenty of off-field drama and — thanks to a combination of age and lingering injuries — he clearly isn’t the player he once was. But is a strong performance in the AFC Championship and a Super Bowl berth enough to convince Peyton that he has more left in the tank?
Well, based on his comments to Bill Belichick following the game, maybe not.
Cameras caught Manning’s exchange with the Patriots coach after the Broncos’ 20-18 win in the AFC title game, and here’s what the quarterback told Belichick:
“Hey, listen…this might be my last rodeo, so, it sure has been a pleasure.”
(Sidenote: Is there a more Peyton Manning-esque way to hint at retirement than by using the term “last rodeo?” Maybe only if The Sheriff sang it in the style of the Nationwide theme song.)
I’m sure Manning will get plenty of inquiries as to where his mind is at in regards to retirement in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, so it’ll be interesting to see how he responds. It seems like there’s a good chance he’s hoping to go out like his current boss, John Elway, did — with a Lombardi Trophy capping off a historic career.