DENVER — Peyton Manning called signing with the Denver Broncos the “best decision I ever made,” saying football became “fun again” after he joined the franchise in 2012 after being released by the Indianapolis Colts.
As for rumors that Manning wants to buy the Broncos? Well, the Hall of Fame quarterback isn’t ready to commit quite yet.
As Manning was inducted into the Broncos’ Ring of Fame on Sunday, the 45-year-old addressed building chatter that he could be interested in joining a potential ownership group to buy the Broncos if the team goes up for sale.
Denver’s ownership situation has been in turmoil since the late Pat Bowlen died in 2019. CBS Sports reported last month that Manning had “spoken with at least two suitors” amid a ”strong sense” in league circles that the Broncos could be on the market next year.
“I haven’t had any serious conversations with anyone,” Manning said. “Certainly there are some people that have called me to say, ‘Hey, what do you think is going to happen with the Broncos? Are you gonna try to own the team?’ I keep looking for that $3 billion in my pocket. I can’t find it. I think it’s in a hidden account somewhere.
“That’s not really on my radar.“
Manning spoke with reporters before Sunday’s game against Washington as the Broncos unveiled his Ring of Fame pillar outside Empower Field at Mile High stadium. Besides the scrum, Manning also participated in a 15-minute question and answer session with Broncos radio announcer Dave Logan on what it meant to play for Denver.
The unveiling of the pillar took place in front of a number of fans, and the Broncos plan to honor Manning at halftime, as well. The ceremony stood in stark contrast to Washington’s handling of Sean Taylor’s jersey retirement, which was announced on short notice. Washington issued multiple apologies because of the criticism.
According to CBS Sports, Manning had conversations with potential ownership groups about becoming a minority investor — and possibly getting involved in the management of the team.
Manning said he cares about the future of the Broncos because he still lives in Denver and holds a close connection to the franchise, even after retiring following the 2015 season.
But he said he’s enjoying post-retirement life, which includes coaching his son’s flag football team and calling “Monday Night Football” games on an alternate ESPN broadcast with his brother, Eli.
The Broncos have struggled on the field since Manning’s retirement. They entered Sunday’s contest on a four-game losing streak and haven’t made the playoffs since winning the Super Bowl during Manning’s final season in 2015.
Denver has cycled through 11 starting quarterbacks in that span, posting a 35-52 record.
“I want to know what’s going to happen like everybody else,” Manning said. “But I have had no relationship or agreement [to buy the team] with anybody. Even if I am offered an opportunity, I haven’t decided whether I would even do it. … Next year, who knows how I’ll feel?
“But I’ll always be a part of Broncos in some way — I’ll say that.”