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Peyton Manning told close friends he expects to retire

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  • By Austin Knoblauch NFL.com
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In the aftermath of the Denver Broncos' AFC Championship Game win, quarterback Peyton Manning told New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick "this might be my last rodeo."

Manning hasn't elaborated on his conversation with Belichick other than to lament the lack of privacy at the 50-yard line. Still, it would be hard to dismiss the 39-year-old quarterback's words as anything other than a strong indicator that he likely will retire after Super Bowl 50.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reaffirmed that scenario during an appearance on NFL Network's Super Bowl Live on Monday.

"The reality is he let the cat out of the bag a little bit," Rapoport said. "I also know he has told close friends that he expects this to be his last game as well."

Manning, however, didn't reveal anything on Super Bowl 50 Media Night in San Jose on Monday. When asked by NFL Media's Marshall Faulk if he was planning to retire after the Super Bowl, Manning said "I don't know the answer to that question right now."

The question is: When will Manning announce his retirement? Could it come immediately after the Super Bowl or will it be weeks later?

No one seems to know for sure -- except for Peyton.

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