Just weeks away from embarking on his 15th NFL season, eventual Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning doesn’t know when he plans to hang up the cleats, telling Pro Football Talk he’ll likely step away when he tires of the constant game preparation.
Per Erik Kuselias:
“It’s really not,” Manning told Erik Kuselias of NBCSN’s Pro Football Talk regarding whether the quarterback’s retirement is tied to winning another title. ”I really have no idea how much longer I’ll play. In the 2011 season, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to play again. I had a very strange injury. I had different doctors that just couldn’t give me any type of definite timetable or any guarantee, and when you’re dealing with nerves in an injury, it’s just so unpredictable.”
“I want to play, Erik, as long as I’m still a productive player, as long as I can still help a team, and as long as I still enjoy it,” Manning said. “I don’t think it’s about enjoying the games, it’s about do you enjoy practice? Do you enjoy meetings? I’ve heard guys that retire, they just say they dreaded going to meetings, they dreaded going to a walk-through. If it’s just so miserable, then you probably should stop. But I still enjoy the preparation. I still enjoy the practice. I enjoy getting to work with other great football players. And as long as I can still be effective, I’m going to keep playing.”
As a student of the game, unlike most players who simply want to get on the field, Manning loves to prepare and gameplan. It’s hard to see him tiring of it, so one has to think Manning will continue to play until his body doesn’t allow him to.