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Adam Schefter: LA Rams had internal talks about adding Peyton Manning

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Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning has told close friends that he’s going to retire. Manning’s final game could be against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday in Super Bowl 50.

We reported on Monday that he’s going to retire.

While Manning hasn’t officially retired, because he’s still playing, it’s giving other teams hopes that he would play another season. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Los Angeles Rams have had internal discussions about bringing Manning to LA should he want to play another season.

Word about the league is this will be it. However, he signed to the team for another season at $19 million with an option to receive $2.5 million in bonuses. He’ll have a $2.5 million dead cap hit if he does retire.

After the Super Bowl — depending if Manning goes 2-2 or 1-3 in the biggest game of the year — he’ll have to sit down and officially decide on what he’ll do next, whether it’ll indeed be retirement or play another season. If he does retire, then ESPN, CBS and the NFL Network would all try to sign him to be a talent on their NFL shows.

“I’ve tried to stay in the moment, tried not to look back,” Manning said on Monday evening during the Super Bowl 50’s Media Night in San Jose. “Just tried to stay in the moment.”

The Rams are trying to put together their quarterback plans for next season. Nick Foles — who was acquired from the Philadelphia Eagles last off-season in a trade for Sam Bradford — was the starter before Case Keenum took over.

Last season, Keenum went back into a game after being criticized for suffering a concussion. The Rams took a lot of heat for that incident.

Foles — who signed a two-year, $24.5 million extension with the team during the season — is expected to go into the 2016 season as a backup while Keenum would be the starter, barring, of course, if they can get a significantly better quarterback. Even as a 40-year-old, Manning would be a better quarterback than both of them.

While this word is just coming out, it could give Manning options should he decide to play a 19th-season. If he does want to play in 2016, it won’t be with the Broncos, as they are tied to Brock Osweiler — who is a free agent in March — or another quarterback that they may sign in the weak quarterback free agent market.

Two previous Hall of Fame quarterbacks finished their careers in Southern California. If Manning signs with the Rams — who will relocate from St. Louis to begin the 2016 season — would be the third.

Former Colts great Johnny Unitas, who Peyton said was a mentor to him, played for the San Diego Chargers in 1973. Manning has a documented fandom of Unitas. Also, Joe Namath, the former New York Jets great, played for the Rams in 1977 in Los Angeles.

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