Peyton Manning is taking his sweet old time in deciding whether to retire.
Agent Tom Condon said this morning on 104.3 The Fan in Denver that Manning’s mind is still not made up about whether to retire from the game or return for the 2016 season.
“To tell you the truth, I know that Peyton has not decided,” Condon said.
That directly contradicts the Saturday Denver Post report that Manning had already decided to retire.
If Manning doesn’t decide within the next week, the Broncos will make the decision for him and release him: If Manning is still on the roster at the end of the league year, his $19 million salary becomes guaranteed. And there’s no way Denver will allow that to happen. The Broncos would surely prefer to have a nice ceremony at team headquarters at which Manning announces his retirement, but if Manning isn’t willing to do that in the next six days, the Broncos will have to cut him.
At that point, Manning would become an unrestricted free agent, ready to sign with any team. The question then would become whether any team wants him. Yes, Manning is an all-time great who just won a Super Bowl, but he also turns 40 this month and is coming off by far the worst season of his career.
The Rams have been mentioned as a potential suitor for Manning, as they need a quarterback and would love to add some star power in their first season in Los Angeles. That may be the only team that would be willing to hand Manning its starting job — and even then, it’s not clear that he’s better at this point in his career than the quarterbacks the Rams already have, Case Keenum or Nick Foles.
So Manning appears to be taking his time because he wants to weigh his options. But he probably won’t have many options.