Peyton Manning never knows when his second chapter might end, and a third begin.
For that reason, the retired quarterback said he will always lend an ear when NFL-related opportunities are the topic.
Manning attended Denver Broncos practice on Thursday, but is not working in any capacity for the team from which he retired in 2015. He’s been linked to several other football gigs since he gave up the full-time quarterback thing. In the past two months alone, Manning’s name was directly attached to Monday Night Football — as a replacement for unretired tight end Jason Witten — the New York Jets, Indianapolis Colts and NFL Network.
Manning shot down all related rumors and said he never discussed the vacant Jets GM job with Adam Gase. Gase, head coach of the Jets and acting GM, coached Manning in Denver.
“I have spoken with Adam, of course, since he’s been there, but I did not speak with him about that nor was I contacted by anyone,” Manning said, adding that he did officially sit down and speak with ABC-ESPN about the MNF opportunity.
Manning is currently working to be low key while staying “connected” to the NFL. That includes an ESPN Plus series “Peyton’s Places” in which Manning is the featured personality visiting and interviewing subjects relevant to the league’s upcoming 100th season.
“I’m doing this little thing for the NFL for the 100th year, I went from Columbus yesterday to Ada, Ohio, for Wilson, where they make the footballs. … I went and kind of learned how to make a football, looking for a job,” Manning joked. “And I failed miserably. And I’m going to Chicago next week. … I have enjoyed that. I have enjoyed staying connected with it in this way.
“I still stay connected, I just can’t look into a glass and say what I’m going to be wanting to do next year or five years from now. I know I do want to stay close to it, stay connected to it.”
Even three years out of the league as a player, Manning said he resists the word retired. He’s focused for now on his role as a dad, particularly a football dad to his 8-year-old twin boys.
“I don’t use the R-word. I just use kind of my second chapter, if you will,” he said. “I don’t have that one-word job description like coaching or broadcasting. I just kind of stay busy doing lots of things, but it’s important for me to be able to go to those games on Saturday, flag football on Sunday. Marshall’s playing for the Rams; they’re playing on Sunday.”
–Field Level Media