According got Jason La Canfora, Browns owner Jimmy Haslam has “very strong and sincere” interest in having Peyton Manning join the front office in a prominent team president/top executive role.
Although, La Canfora writes that Manning has been in no rush to determine his next step in a post-playing career. Even so, the assumption from those who know Manning is that he will at some point return to the NFL and run a team or join an ownership group. Manning would likely have the most interest in the Titans and Saints, according to sources who spoke to La Canfora, but he has a close relationship with Haslam.
La Canfora says that “it’s a certainty the Browns will be undergoing sweeping changes this offseason” and ownership reportedly views Manning as a “potential cornerstone” for the franchise, who could attract talented candidates to come aboard and help turn things around in Cleveland.
In fact, some in the NFL have told La Canfora that it’s possible Haslam could offer Manning a small equity stake in the team to convince him to come to Cleveland.
While there’s a lot of opportunity with the Browns and close ties to ownership, La Canfora adds that some close to Manning have discounted the odds of him going to Cleveland, given that he could wait for an opportunity to run a more successful franchise in a warmer locale at some point. Beyond that, they’ve wondered if Manning would really be willing to take on a challenge this daunting to begin his management career.
We’ll have more regarding Manning possibly returning to the NFL as the news is available.