Former Colts quarterback Peyton Manning is taking a year away from football in 2016, turning down other offers to be able to attend games - whether that’s his brother Eli’s games, Tennessee games, or Colts and Broncos games. He simply wants to be a fan for the first time in years.
While that’s his plan for this year, it’s still widely expected that he wants to eventually wind up working in a front office role similar to the one John Elway occupies with the Broncos. Because of that, the MMQB’s Albert Breer had this interesting tidbit to say this morning:
Word persists that Peyton Manning will wind up in a John Elway-type executive role at some point in the next few years. In fact, as I hear it, those aspirations could make him more willing to help the NFL’s investigation into the allegations levied against him in an Al Jazeera report last December.
It’s been thought that the league’s investigation into the allegations would simply fizzle and fade into the background now that Manning isn’t an active player, but that investigation could be brought up again if Manning wishes to work with a team at some point - as could any potential discipline depending on what the investigation finds. If Manning does comply and help out with the NFL’s investigation, it would be a sure sign that he intends or hopes to wind up working with a team at some point, as there’s no use in getting involved simply to stay retired and away from the league.
Al Jazeera accused Manning of using HGH during his time with the Colts as he recovered from a neck injury in 2011, though they since backed off that by saying instead that they simply said the drug was sent to Ashley Manning (though the original report implied it was intended for Peyton while using his wife’s name as cover). Manning has very strongly denied the allegations, and the Colts released a statement in support of their former quarterback as well. The USA Today reported that Manning decided against suing the network for defamation - in large part because he didn’t want the private medical records of his wife Ashley to be made public. The report has been called into question since it was released and it has faded into the background with Manning’s retirement announcement.
It’s possible that Manning will cooperate with the NFL on their investigation, however, as he helps them out because of his desire to wind up working with a franchise at some point. The Colts would surely find a role for him should Manning wish to work in their front office, but it’s unclear whether it would be a role that Manning was looking for. Either way, today’s report from Breer is just another indication that the former quarterback is looking to get back into the game as an executive at some point, and that may first begin with clearing his name with the NFL in helping their investigation.