Six days ago, the Denver Post cited two sources in support of a report that quarterback Peyton Manning would announce his retirement this week. Regardless of when the week ends, time is getting short for the Post to be anything other that inaccurate.
It’s possible there’s no retirement coming next week either, even though Manning’s $19 million base salary for 2016 becomes guaranteed on March 9.
“There’s a time when the contract becomes guaranteed, so they’ll just have to make a move before then,” agent Tom Condon told Dan Sileo of The Mighty 1090 in San Diego on Friday. “He’s completely aware of the guarantee obligation from the club on a date certain, and he knows that there has to be some accommodation prior to that.”
It’s looking more and more like the accommodation will be a release of Peyton Manning, not a retirement. In part because Manning still hasn’t decided whether he wants to play in 2016.
“I couldn’t answer that accurately,” Condon said of whether Manning will retire. “I know better than to ask him. I understand that when he makes up his mind as to what he wants to do, he’s gonna let me know. But as of now, he wanted to take his time and be patient with the decision and make sure that he is sure. . . . Let’s face it, he loves it. He loves being the locker room, he loves working out and of course the interaction with his teammates, and he loves the game.”
If he doesn’t retire, would Manning play for a team like the Rams or another team?
“I couldn’t say,” Condon said. “Obviously anybody who’s going to make a move or is contemplating making a move like that is taking into consideration all the different football factors, and of course as meticulous in his preparation as he is about virtually everything you’d have to assume that he’s considering all of the football factors and I’d guess less about the business.”
From a business standpoint, it remains better for Manning to be a free agent than to land on Denver’s reserve/retired list. That way, he can return to the NFL whenever he wants, without having to engineer a release from the Broncos later. By doing nothing over the next few days, Manning will engineer his release sooner.