While many just assume the 2015 NFL season will be the final one in Peyton Manning’s long and storied, Hall of Fame-caliber career, the 39-year-old signal caller insists that’s not necessarily the case and wants to put the kibosh on that sort of talk from the get-go.
Speaking Tuesday after the Denver Broncos’ first practice at the team’s voluntary minicamp, Manning said he “feels good” physically and indicated he would rather not have to discuss his age ad nauseam this season.
“I’m not interested in answering questions about how old I am,” Manning said.
And as far as this season being his so-called glorified stroll into the sunset of his career, Manning indicated it might not be anything of the sort, hinting he’s not certain he’ll be hanging up his helmet at season’s end, no matter how it concludes.
“I don’t see it as a farewell tour,” Manning argued, via NFL.com.
In fact, age, in Manning’s eyes, just might be nothing but a number, noting that he only turned 39 last month.
“I think there’s young 39s and old 39s. I’m in that young group, for sure,” Manning said, via Broncos.com’s Andrew Mason. “A March birthday? I think you’ve got to be very careful just lumping them all in there together.
“I think it’s all about trying to do your job, no matter how old you are. … I guess I have to answer questions about it, but I’m not interested in talking about it much more after this point.”
Manning had a productive regular season in 2014 (39 TDs, 15 INTs, 4,727 yards, 101.5 rating) despite fading down the stretch. But most of those struggles were later attributed to the fact he was playing through a torn right quadriceps over the last month of the season as well in Denver’s divisional-round playoff loss to the Indianapolis Colts. Whether he can match those numbers this season, one year older, is unclear.
Still, despite his preferences indicating otherwise, the odds are good Manning will be inundated with questions about his advanced age, in NFL terms, throughout the season, especially if he struggles at any time during the 2015 campaign.