Since retirement, rumors have circled that former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning could return to the NFL in some capacity. Manning could possibly be an NFL coach, general manager, broadcaster or even an owner.
But Manning jokingly put his NFL general manager and coaching rumors to rest in a hilarious story on The Colin Cowherd Podcast on September 7.
“I don’t see [being] a GM in my future,” Manning said. “Coach, I’m the offensive coordinator on my son Marshall’s sixth-grade football team. We got beat in overtime on Saturday, and a couple of my players asked me why I ran the ball so much in the red zone, so I think coaching in my future is also out.”
“Hearing that from a couple sixth graders was tough. Hearing that from a 32-year-old wide receiver, quarterback, ‘hey, I haven’t gotten the ball, what are you doing?’ I think that’s out.”
Rumors Manning Could Become NFL Coach or General Manager
As Cowherd did on September 7, NFL insiders have wondered out loud if Manning might return to the NFL as a coach or general manager. In May 2019, NFL insider Mike Florio connected Manning to the New York Jets general manager opening.
But after he finished his hilarious story about his son’s sixth-grade team, Manning explained to Cowherd that he prefers being a person to bounce ideas off of rather than a GM or head coach himself.
“Being a resource to quarterbacks, to rookies, to coaches, to general managers, I love doing that,” Manning said. “In the six years I’ve been retired, I felt like I’ve kind of been a resource to a number of different people that have my number.”
Manning doesn’t have any experience in an NFL front office, but neither did John Lynch when he became general manager of the San Francisco 49ers in 2017. In Lynch’s third season as 49ers general manager, San Francisco went 13-3 and won the NFC Championship.
Including the playoffs, the 49ers have posted a 43-44 record with Lynch as their general manager. They went 15-33 the three years prior to Lynch arriving in 2017.
Lynch’s success should open up front office roles to other retired players such as Manning. But it doesn’t sound like Manning is looking for that kind of opportunity in his life.
Manning Fits Best as NFL Broadcaster?
With Manning’s uncanny wit and humor, he might best serve the league as a broadcaster. The ManningCast, which featured Peyton and his brother, Eli, during Monday Night Football games on ESPN2, was a huge hit last fall. ESPN is paying a huge sum of money to bring back the ManningCast this season.
But Manning says he doesn’t see himself becoming a full-time NFL broadcaster either.
“I learned on the broadcasting that the commitment to be gone every weekend, that there are no home games when it comes to broadcasting, doing it the right way like Tony Romo does it, Cris Collinsworth,” Manning told Cowherd. “The late John Madden started it: Go watch practice, go interview the teams, be there hands-on. It’s the only way to do it well. It’s a four-day commitment. I wanted my fall weekends to be free.”
There’s little doubt that a network would welcome Manning with open arms if he ever decides to become a commentator on a more traditional broadcast. But for now, the retired quarterback sounds satisfied with trying to fix the red zone offense for his son’s sixth-grade team.