It appears Peyton Manning is inching closer toward deciding whether he will play in 2016.
According to Denver Post columnist Woody Paige, Manning "will acknowledge his decision" to retire by the end of this week. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Feb. 1 that Manning told close friends that he expected to retire during the offseason. In addition, Manning has not told anyone in the Broncos' organization about whether or not he plans to retire, team and league sources told Rapoport on Saturday.
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Archie Manning told NFL Media's Rhett Lewis on Saturday that his son "hasn't told me a thing" about retiring next week.
If Manning plans to play next season, he must undergo a team physical by Friday, Rapoport added.
"I met with Peyton a couple nights ago and we had a good talk," Elway said. "As I said after the game, we'll give him as much time as he needs. He still needs some more time so we're going to afford him that time. He deserves it after 18 years in this league."
Elway reiterated several times that he's not pressuring Manning one way or the other and will meet with the quarterback again before the new league year begins March 9.
The Broncos executive shot down suggestions that he needs Manning's decision sooner rather than later so he can move forward on contract negotiations with impending free-agent quarterback Brock Osweiler.
"We're really not in a hurry," Elway said. "It's really fluid. We know where Brock is and he knows what we have to offer. We still have a great deal of interest in Brock and we'd like to do something with Brock. We'll start down those tracks and we'll start talking to Brock about a new contract and see what we can do there. But with that in mind, also affording Peyton the time that he deserves. We're not in any rush. Like I said we have 12 days and we don't feel like we're in a rush there. We'll continue to talk to Peyton during that time and continue to work with Brock and get something done with Brock."
Manning, who turns 40 next month, is one of the most accomplished quarterbacks in NFL history. In addition to his career yards record, which he achieved earlier this season, Manning's second Super Bowl triumph gave him an NFL-record 200 career wins (regular season, playoffs combined). Manning also became the first starting quarterback to win a Super Bowl with two different teams.
Manning was peppered by questions throughout the season about whether 2015 would be his swan song campaign. After he went down with a torn plantar fascia in the middle of the season, speculation grew about whether he would retire. It rose to another level after on-field cameras caught Manning telling Patriots coach Bill Belichick that "this might be my last rodeo" after the Broncos' AFC Championship win.