IN FOCUS: Should Peyton Manning Retire?

In Focus

Should Peyton Manning Retire?

Stephen Hu

Divisional Playoffs - San Diego Chargers v Denver Broncos

Its no secret that veteran Peyton Manning – one of the greatest football players in the National Football League – is going through some turmoil. His stats have gone down in the past two months, and a humiliating loss to Indianapolis in the divisional playoff hasn’t helped his cause. According to sources, the Broncos would like to have him back next year, but Manning could choose to hang up his helmet or rejoin his team. Many analysts suggest that Peyton should throw in the towel on his career, but if I was Manning, I would keep going.

It is a common fact that football players don’t age well. Running Backs start to decline as early as the age of 29, and the average NFL career lasts about 13 years. However, quarterbacks are an exception to the rule. Some older quarterbacks, like Matt Hasselbeck and Derek Andersen are forced to spend their time on the bench behind young guns, while Shaun Hill and Josh McCown are given the opportunity to take the reins and play on as starters. In Manning’s case, he has the same two options. He can either sit on the bench to nurture the young Brock Osweiler, or continue playing as a starter, if he still has the ability. Its common for starters to move to the bench to make room for rookies. The Patriots did it with Tom Brady. The Colts did it when Manning was a rookie. Another possibility is that Manning could be traded to another team who might need a quarterback, following the path of Brett Favre, who was traded to the Jets in order for the Packers to enjoy the Aaron Rodgers experience.

Manning still has two more years left on his contract, earning 19 million in his remaining two years as a Bronco. Although he doesn’t play football for the money, he could earn big bucks in the next remaining two years.

One of the reasons  analysts say Peyton Manning should retire is because he has an injury. They say that since his body is breaking down, he should take care of himself and end his career before a physical game gets to him. In my opinion, that is by far the dumbest reason for him to retire. Like I said before, he could head to the bench and mentor Brock Osweiler. Also, I’m sure that there’s nothing that Peyton would rather do than play football.  He doesn’t have to play on every snap. if he feels comfortable in the pocket, he can keep playing in the pocket.

Peyton Manning had a great run. However, it doesn’t need to end now. If he decides to retire, he will miss a lot of opportunities. There is no confirmation that his talent will diminish as he grows in age. Making money definitely is not a priority for him, but having that extra 19 million in his bank account would definitely avoid bankruptcy. (78% of NFL athletes go broke after five years). Either way, it is clear that Peyton has a tough choice ahead of him: should he keep playing football, or start watching it on the couch?