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Report: Peyton Manning would like to continue playing

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According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Peyton Manning would like to continue playing in an ideal world, but it's unclear whether the quarterback will decide to actually return or not.

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Over the weekend, The Denver Post's Woody Paige reported that Peyton Manning was going to retire and would announce it this week.  Immediately after that, many others reported that the Broncos had not yet heard from Manning on his decision, and yesterday NFL Media's James Palmer reported that a decision isn't expected to come this week, though Manning will sit down with John Elway and Gary Kubiak.

Manning's agent, Tom Condon, appeared on SiriusXM NFL radio on Monday and said that Manning hadn't informed him of a decision, but added some interesting notes regardless.  Condon said that Manning has told him, "I really like to play," while adding that Manning is doing his research just like he did when released by the Colts in 2012.

Today, on Mike and Mike in the Morning, ESPN's Adam Schefter had even more interesting comments regarding Peyton Manning - that he would ideally like to keep playing.

Here's my understanding there: he'd like to keep playing.  In a perfect world, he'd like to keep playing.  The question is, who's going to give him an opportunity?  And it's tough to identify that team right now that's going to sign him to a deal that makes it worthwhile for him and allows him to continue playing.  Does he want to go move to another city?  Because I think everybody at this point accepts and understands he's not going to be back in Denver, so the question is where does he go and play?  It's not going to be the Houston Texans.  It's probably not going to be the Los Angeles Rams.  So you go find a team that would be willing to sign him.

Schefter also added that TV stations are lining up for Manning and multiple teams have reached out about front office positions, something Schefter thinks Manning will end up doing at some point.  But right now, it sounds as if Manning really wants to keep playing, but is unsure whether that's actually the right decision.  In other words, it sounds like Manning is much more conflicted than many thought he would be.

It makes sense why a guy who has been playing football for pretty much his entire life would be hesitant to give it up, so we can't really fault Manning for having a hard time making his decision.  It sounds like the quarterback would like to keep playing, but it's no sure thing in large part because of the fact that he will be released by the Denver Broncos if he wants to continue playing.  Denver will be moving on from Manning one way or another, and so now Manning is left trying to decide whether he wants to play enough that he's willing to move to a different city, learn a different system, and be around a different culture all to play what would likely be one more year.  When framed that way, it becomes a much more difficult decision.  Schefter's comments also shed some light on Condon's comments about Manning doing his research, as the agent compared it to Manning's research of the best fit after being released by the Colts.  Could that be what Manning is doing once again?  Could he be doing his research to identify potential fits and see if there's a place that he would like to go that might take him?  It's possible.

In short, we don't know Peyton Manning's decision yet, and it sounds like he might not know either.  But the comments from Tom Condon and Adam Schefter in the past two days really paint the picture for us and give us an idea into Manning's thought process.  It sounds like the legendary quarterback would like to continue playing, he's just not sure if the situation is right.