Future NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning has a lot of time on his hands these days, which is good because he's decided to become a fan of about half the teams in the NFL.
"I kinda look forward to this year being a fan of a lot of teams, people that I have connections with," Manning told reporters Friday. "I'll be pulling for Brock. Of course I'm going to be a huge New York Giants fan, but I'll be pulling for the Broncos and the Colts. I'll be pulling for Adam Gase and Jim Caldwell, the head coach of the Lions. Coaches and players I've played with and competed with. Being a free agent, if you will, this year, to be able to pull for a lot of teams.
The quote came at the end of a longer missive on former backup Osweiler, who is now leading the Houston Texans. Manning said that he was always grateful to Osweiler for helping him break down film while the pair were members of the Denver Broncos and hoped that he helped Osweiler along in his career as well.
"I sent him a text right after that move happened," he said. "I'm excited for his opportunity. I know he's excited. Brock's used these past four years to improve as a player, he's an extremely hard worker. I know he's excited to be a full-time starter, and he's certainly earned that opportunity. I know Houston is excited to have him, and they should be. He's a hard worker, he loves football and he's glad to be out there on the field playing full time."
At the moment, Manning seems to be enjoying the sort of post-retirement milquetoast run typically enjoyed by former U.S. presidents and faded Hollywood stars (Manning, who could soon be embarking on a career as a general manager, coach, executive or owner might not be altogether finished, of course). Everything is great. Everyone is awesome. La-la how the life goes on.
He also doesn't seem to be walking back on his promise to stay retired. Outside of a few tosses at the White House, Manning has not thrown a pass since he left the game, and might not even throw one at the passing academy this weekend.
"My first time throwing, I threw some passes to some Wounded Warriors at the White House on the lawn, and that was a pretty neat experience," he said. "But besides that, I have not thrown. Either you retire or you don't, you can't a little bit retire. That's one thing you kinda do, is stop throwing. I still will participate and work on the kids' five-step drop and three-step drop, and I love answering questions."
Now, Peyton will just have to get his Red Zone set up. Seems like he'll have plenty to keep track of come September if he still plans on being a superfan.