The status of Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is very much up in the air following Denver's Super Bowl victory, as many expect Manning to retire. It seems likely, but Manning is taking his time to think through it before making his decision. If he does retire, however, many think he would be intrigued with the idea of running a franchise, similar to the role that John Elway has with the Broncos.
Manning's former general manager, Hall of Famer Bill Polian, thinks that the future Hall of Fame quarterback would be able to make that transition.
"I believe he could very quickly fill the role that John Elway fills with the Broncos," Polian said on Sirius XM NFL radio recently, according to FOX Sports. "The reason I say that is, during our 14 years together in Indianapolis, he would often discuss with me prospects coming out in the draft, SEC players he'd seen, players he'd seen in other parts of the country. He pays close attention to the rosters of the other players in the league, with specific attention to the AFC. He knew the strengths and weaknesses of every player on every defense in the AFC and many on offense, because he met them and got to know them at the Pro Bowl and soaked up information. He is a football nerd, as am I. He's more than prepared to do that job."
As for how quickly Manning could make the adjustment or how much training he would need, Polian thinks that Manning would be able to take on the role sooner rather than later.
"All he would need would be a brief tutorial on the league rules and things like the general terms of trades and contract language - of which he's also very familiar, because of his own contract," Polian added. "He's well-prepared to do that. He could step right from the playing field into a role like that, because he's ready. I don't know that he will, but if someone wanted him to do it, he would be ready immediately to do it."
It's certainly a nice ringing endorsement for Manning that one of the greatest executives in NFL history says he thinks that the quarterback would be able to be a general manager. The biggest question, however, is what Manning wants to do. First of all, we don't even know whether or not he will still be playing in 2016, so it's impossible to say whether he will immediately go into working with a team or take some time off to spend with his family, including his kids Marshall and Mosley. If he wants to begin working with a team, however, there likely would be suitors - perhaps teams like the Titans or the Browns would have interest (as has been rumored and reported in recent months). Many Colts fans would like to see Manning come back and work for the franchise, but while I'm sure Jim Irsay would be able to find a job for him, it likely wouldn't be as a top executive or general manager because of guys like Ryan Grigson already in place.
Regardless of what Peyton Manning winds up doing after he retires, if he has even half as much success as he had during his playing career, he'll be pretty great at his new job. Perhaps that will be as an executive with a franchise, and if that's the case, Hall of Fame general manager Bill Polian thinks he'd be a good one and would be ready to step into that role immediately.