Peyton’s retirement plans aren’t tied to winning another Super Bowl

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Asked recently whether quarterback Peyton Manning would retire if the Broncos win the Super Bowl this year, executive V.P. of football operations John Elway said he hopes that’s a bridge they’ll have to cross.

From Manning’s perspective, walking off into the sunset with a Lombardi Trophy under his arm (like Elway did) doesn’t seem to be a priority.

“It’s really not,” Manning told Erik Kuselias of NBCSN’s Pro Football Talk regarding whether the quarterback’s retirement is tied to winning another title.  “I really have no idea how much longer I’ll play.  In the 2011 season, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to play again.  I had a very strange injury.  I had different doctors that just couldn’t give me any type of definite timetable or any guarantee, and when you’re dealing with nerves in an injury, it’s just so unpredictable.”

And so it’s not about winning a championship and calling it quits.  It’s about chasing championships for as long as Manning likes all aspects of the hunt.

“I want to play, Erik, as long as I’m still a productive player, as long as I can still help a team, and as long as I still enjoy it,” Manning said.   “I don’t think it’s about enjoying the games, it’s about do you enjoy practice?  Do you enjoy meetings?  I’ve heard guys that retire, they just say they dreaded going to meetings, they dreaded going to a walk-through. If it’s just so miserable, then you probably should stop.  But I still enjoy the preparation.  I still enjoy the practice.  I enjoy getting to work with other great football players.  And as long as I can still be effective, I’m going to keep playing.”

Whether Peyton intended it or not, that last part sounds like an indirect dig at the annual angst Brett Favre experienced, because Favre got to a point where he liked playing in games but nothing else.  Manning likes it all.  As long as he does and as long as he can meet his own high standards, he’ll keep doing it.

For the full interview, which you should have watched on NBCSN but we’ll cut you a break and post it here, click on the button below.