“The reality is he let the cat out of the bag a little bit,” Rapoport said. “I also know he has told close friends that he expects this to be his last game as well.”
Manning’s final game could be this Sunday in Super Bowl 50 against the Carolina Panthers at Levi Stadium in Santa Clara, Ca. In the biggest game of the year, he has a 1-2 record with his lone Super Bowl win over the Chicago Bears.
While he has one-year left on his contract, he’s not expected to be back with the team next season. So, he can either step away from the game he loves, or play another season with an entirely new team.
That’s something he may not want to do as he relocated his family to Denver after signing with the team. According to the Al Jazeera America Network, the team also had a home in Florida and previously lived in Indianapolis when he played for the Colts.
He also owns 21 Papa John’s restaurants in Denver, as well.
The team is expected to go with Brock Osweiler next season. He showed glimpses of being a starter in the second-half of the season when Manning was out with an injury.
The Broncos would have to re-sign Osweiler, because he’s set to become a free agent in March. If they decide to go in another direction, the free agent quarterback market is very weak — as it is led by Sam Bradford, Kirk Cousins and Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Cousins and Fitzpatrick are expected to re-sign with their respective teams, the New York Jets and the Washington Redskins. The teams will either tag them with the franchise tag or sign them to a multi-year extension.
This has been one of Manning’s worst seasons in his career. He had struggles throughout the early part of the season, even though it was masked by the Broncos 8-0 record to start the year, largely in part due to the team’s very good defense. Then, in the final eight games of the season, he missed several games with an injury that allowed Osweiler to step into his place.
Then, in December while Manning was still recovering from his injury, an Al-Jazeera America documentary accused Manning of using HGH following his neck surgery in 2011. He has vehemently denied the claims and said he was going to file a lawsuit against the company, who said last month that they were shutting their doors in April.
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