Television: One industry insider said Manning will easily draw an offer in the $1.5 million to $2 million range like some of the top names in the business. "He may become the best ever," one industry insider told FOXSports.com. "Nobody studied the game harder, and he comes in with instant credibility." Manning could pursue either a game-analyst role or join a studio crew. Though there is no opening on any of the main telecast crews right now, a network always could make room. Doing something on Thursday Night Football with the NFL having expanded its 2016 broadcast exposure though new deals with CBS and NBC is intriguing and would draw further attention to the games initially. Plus, still being close to the league should help Manning better make the transition to the real world after 18 NFL seasons.
Player personnel: Manning’s knowledge of the game and ultra-competitive nature could prompt him to try this route. The respect and cache Manning has around the league also would make him attractive to NFL owners. However, it may take some seasoning first before Manning is ready to become a general manager. Elway cut his teeth running the Arena Football League’s Colorado Crush before being hired by the Broncos to head football operations in 2011. Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome also worked his way up through the ranks from a Hall of Fame career at tight end to initially scouting and then heading Cleveland’s pro personnel department.
Team ownership: Even with career earnings of $246.5 million as the highest-paid player in NFL history, off-field endorsements and other business investments, Manning would have to sell a lot more Papa John’s pizza to generate the capital needed to purchase a team on his own. He could potentially become a partner, but would he have as much fun being part of an ownership group rather than having hands-on involvement in football?
Nothing: Like literally nothing. Manning has made enough money that he could simply stay home, reconnect with his family and live a life of leisure. It has worked well for Favre, who spends most of his time on a 465-acre farm in Sumrall, Miss.
But while Favre and Manning hold almost all of the NFL’s passing records, these two QBs are wired differently. It’s hard to see Manning leaving the public spotlight with how much he has basked in it.