JERSEY CITY, N.J., Jan. 27 (UPI) -- Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning addressed speculation that he might retire after the Super Bowl XLVIII during his first news conference of Super Bowl week.
No matter what happens against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, Manning and his guaranteed $20 million salary aren’t going anywhere in 2014.
"I think when you still enjoy the preparation, the work part of it, I think you sought to be still doing that," Manning said. "When I stop enjoying it, when I can't produce, when I can't help the team, that's when I'll stop playing. If that's next year, maybe it is. I certainly want to continue to keep playing."
The Broncos will take on the Seahawks at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. on Sunday.
"A number of players have walked away as champions," Manning said. "I'm sure that's a great feeling for those people. John Elway. Ray Lewis did it last year. Michael Strahan,” Manning said. "Talking to Ray Lewis and talking to John Elway, they couldn't play any more (physically). That was all they had to give. They truly left it all out there.”
Including the playoffs, Manning has thrown for 59 touchdowns and 6,107 yards in the 2013 season.
"I still enjoy playing football. I feel a little better than I thought I would at this point coming off that (neck fusion) surgery.” Manning said. “I still enjoy the preparation part of it, the work part of it. Everybody enjoys the game. Everybody is going to be excited to play in the Super Bowl."
Manning is under contract for the 2015 and 2016 seasons, although his $19 million salaries for those years aren't guaranteed.
One of his teammates can see why the 37-year-old QB might want to stick around. "You'd think after a season like this, he'd want to play 10 more years,” said Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey.
[Denver Post] [USA Today]