Broncos QB Peyton Manning told Patriots HC Bill Belichick after the AFC Championship Game that “this might be my last rodeo.”
The audio was captured by the NFL Network while the two met on the field.
“Hey, listen, this might be my last rodeo,” Manning told Belichick, via Pro Football Talk. “So, it sure has been a pleasure.”
Neither Manning nor Belichick were willing to discuss what they had said after the game.
The news that this could be Manning’s last season in the NFL shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, but it’s just further confirmation that he could be prepared to call it a career.
The Broncos are one game away from another Super Bowl championship, which would allow Manning to end his Hall of Fame on top, if they’re able to beat an impressive Panthers team.
There has been a great of speculation about Manning’s future after this season, which reportedly includes the possibility of taking a front office role with a team or possibly joining an ownership group.
Manning, 39, is in the fourth year of his five-year, $96 million contract that includes $18 million guaranteed. He’ll make a base salary of $15 million this season to go along with another $19 million in 2016.
In 2015, Manning appeared in 10 games and thrown for 2,249 yards while completing 59.8 percent of his passes to go along with nine touchdowns and 17 interceptions. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 29 quarterback out of 37 qualifying players.
We’ll have more regarding Manning’s future as the news is available.