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Could Peyton Manning Become Next Colts Lead Executive?


According to’s Albert Breer, many members of league circles expect that 2015 will be Peyton Manning‘s last season as an NFL quarterback, and that he could make a quick transition into a lead executive front office role soon thereafter:

"“Most believe Peyton Manning will hang ’em up after this season,” writes Breer. “Well, there’s also a widely held assumption in NFL circles that — with all the turnover expected to come across the league in January — Manning could well re-emerge as a leading executive in 2016.”"

While the Cleveland Browns and Tennessee Titans are listed by Breer as Manning’s most likely landing spots as a lead executive, our very own Indianapolis Colts are also listed as a distant possibility:

"“The most bandied about landing spots are Cleveland (because of Manning’s relationship with Browns owner/University of Tennessee booster Jimmy Haslam) and Tennessee (because of Manning’s connections to the university, and his wife’s presence as part owner of the Memphis Grizzlies), with Indianapolis (his longtime home) and New Orleans (his native soil) not to be completely discounted,” adds Breer."

Of course, the Colts could see a significant shake-up after this season if the team doesn’t begin to start showing significant improvement anyways. There’s been speculation that both general manager Ryan Grigson and head coach Chuck Pagano could be on the hot seat if the team fails to make a deep playoff run.

Nov 8, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) warms up before the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Simply put, things remain largely unsettled for the team’s powers that be going forward.

Whether Manning is actually a realistic candidate or even retires at season’s end, remains to be seen. However, the move isn’t unprecedented as Manning’s current general manager and vice president of football operations with the Denver Broncos is none other than former superstar NFL quarterback John Elway.

Breer notes that there are already clear similarities between the two legendary quarterbacks in transitioning to lead executive roles:

"“But it does seem that some of the things that the Broncos wanted in Elway — see: football leadership — Manning might be able to bring. One key for Manning, of course, would be an ability to ‘know what you don’t know,’  something Elway showed in learning the scouting side of the business,” writes Breer. “But it’s easy to figure someone with Manning’s football acumen would be able to figure things out on the fly, so long as the right structure existed around him,” concludes Breer. “And it’s equally simple to see why, like Elway was for Denver, Manning might be an enticing risk for someone.”"

That being said, it’s highly uncertain whether Manning events wants to make the jump to becoming an NFL lead executive after he hangs up the cleats for good.

Nov 8, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Frank Gore (23) shakes hands after the game with Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) on the back after the game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Indianapolis defeats Denver 27-24. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Having done noteworthy television ad campaigns–including for Papa John’s, Nationwide, and Buick in recent years, Manning could stick to advertisements and possibly even become a sports television personality for a mainstream sports media provider such as ESPN upon retirement.

Additionally, his wife Ashley Manning and him welcomed twins in 2011–Mosley and Marshall, so it’s possible that Manning could simply want to be a dad for a while for his young kids having lived an on-the-road NFL lifestyle for far too long after 18 NFL seasons.

Personally–and this might be selfish of me, but I hope that Manning announces before the season whenever he’s decided to retire that he’s actually going to retire.

Much like Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees just did, it would give all football fans in the country an opportunity to pay our respects to one of the game’s all-time greats and to a larger than life personality that has simply transcended the sport. Manning is a one of a kind player after all and deserves to be sent out right.

Still, it wouldn’t surprise me if Manning eventually does the make the transition to a lead executive role for an NFL team. However, I’d just question whether it would be so soon after he actually retires. Nevertheless, the Colts could very well be a realistic possibility down the road.

When Manning actually gets sent out on his white horse after his playing days, it’s possible that he could return once again donned in Colts blue–only this time in a suit and tie, not his customary #18 jersey.

Nov 8, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) leaves the field moments after the Colts beat the Broncos, 27-24 at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports