Denver quarterback heard telling Patriots coach after AFC Championship Game. Manning, 39, will be the oldest starting quarterback in the Super Bowl when the Broncos play the Carolina Panthers.
DENVER — Peyton Manning isn’t saying that Super Bowl 50 is his grand finale.
He’s just saying it could be.
NFL Network cameras caught the exchange between Manning and New England coach Bill Belichick after Denver’s 20-18 win over the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday.
When they embraced, Manning leaned in and told Belichick, “Hey listen, this might be my last rodeo. So, it sure has been a pleasure.”
Most Read Sports Stories
- Seahawks 'were not comfortable' allowing Malik McDowell to try to continue playing, agent says
- Analysis: After breakout season, what's next for UW hoops? Here are 3 storylines to watch
- One sad day doesn't change the solid foundation these Huskies have built | Matt Calkins
- Here's why the NCAA tournament has been a success and a failure for the Pac-12
- Seahawks linebacker Mychal Kendricks' sentencing hearing pushed back again
Belichick responded, “You’re a great competitor …”
Neither spoke of their exchange afterward.
Earlier this month, Manning said, “I’d be lying if I said I’m not thinking about that,” when asked if this could be it for him.
The five-time MVP’s season ends Feb. 7 in the Super Bowl against Carolina.
Pushing 40, Manning will be the oldest quarterback to start a Super Bowl when he takes the field for his 293rd career game, including 27 postseason appearances.
It’s a chance for Manning to cap his most maddening season by becoming the first starting QB to win Lombardi Trophies for two different teams.
• The NFL says it is conducting a comprehensive review of allegations that Manning had human growth hormone delivered to his house.
There’s no timetable to complete the investigation, but it’s not expected before the Denver plays Carolina in the Super Bowl on Feb. 7.
League spokesman Brian McCarthy says the inquiry, which began weeks ago, involves reviews of records, interviews and coordination with other agencies.
Al-Jazeera reported last month that an intern at an Indianapolis anti-aging clinic was secretly recorded suggesting that Manning’s wife received deliveries of HGH, which is banned by the league. Manning, then with the Colts, was rehabbing from shoulder surgeries.
The intern, Charles Sly, has since recanted his story.
Manning angrily denied using performance-enhancing substances and called the report “complete garbage.”
• The Philadelphia Eagles have agreed on a three-year contract with tight end Brent Celek.
The 31-year-old Celek has spent his entire career in Philadelphia after being selected with a fifth-round pick in 2007
• Bengals cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones was added to the Pro Bowl roster on Tuesday for the first time in his nine-year career.
Cedric Peerman also became an injury replacement on special teams, giving Cincinnati eight players in the game.
• Former Cleveland defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil has taken a similar position with San Francisco. The 49ers have hired O’Neil to run Chip Kelly’s defense, several outlets reported.
• Tyler Sash, the former New York Giants safety who died in September at the age of 27 from an accidental overdose of pain medications, was found to have suffered from the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, his family told The New York Times.
The Times reported that Sash’s condition had “advanced to a stage rarely seen in someone his age” and was similar to the results found in the brain of Junior Seau, who committed suicide in 2012 at age 43.
• New York Jets defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson avoided jail time after pleading guilty to reduced charges connected to a high-speed police chase in suburban St. Louis. A St. Charles County judge sentenced the former Missouri star to two years of probation and 100 hours of community service after his July arrest for driving a 2014 Bentley Silver Spur at speeds up to 143 mph on an interstate highway near his offseason home. The five misdemeanor charges included one for resisting arrest, for which Richardson could have spent up to one year in jail.