In the moments following the Broncos' 20-18 win in the AFC Championship game, Manning and Belichick embraced on the field. Though Belichick's comments weren't picked up by NFL Films' microphones, Manning's words indicate the 39-year-old might have just one game left.
"Hey, listen, this might my last rodeo. So, it sure has been a pleasure," Manning said.
Belichick told reporters after the game he wouldn't share what he told Manning. Asked again Monday during the Patriots' season-ending press conference, he said "Don't have anything to share. I shared it with Peyton."
Manning missed six regular-season games due to injuries and returned to the lineup in the Week 17 finale, leading the Broncos to a win over the San Diego Chargers that provided Denver with home-field advantage over the Patriots for Sunday's conference title game.
With the win over New England, Manning earned back $2 million of the $4 million pay cut he agreed to in March. That reduced his salary from $19 million to $15 million.
If Manning wins Super Bowl 50 on Feb. 7, he will earn the remainder of the pay cut -- $2 million -- back.
His status for next season is not determined but the No. 1 overall pick in the 1998 draft could decide to retire. If not, the Broncos would face a decision of their own. Backup quarterback Brock Osweiler, who started six games this season in Manning's stead, is scheduled to become a free agent but is viewed as the future starter for the Broncos.