INDIANAPOLIS —Peyton Manning has been sure to poke his head in from time to time in his retirement from the National Football League, but, for now, his days as a casual fan of the game will continue.
Despite reports of lucrative offers to join the broadcast crews with either FOX or ESPN, Manning has decided against providing his color commentary — at least for the 2018 season.
He talked about that decision Monday at the Restaurant Leadership Conference in Phoenix, where he was a featured speaker, according to *Restaurant Business Magazine *executive editor Jonathan Maze.
"I don't want to be a critic at this point," said Manning, who then joked, "I still do too many commercials."
Manning, who retired following the 2016 season owning just about every significant quarterback record in NFL history, was considered a prime candidate to make his full-time debut in the broadcast booth for the 2018 season for either FOX, which has reportedly been looking for a lead analyst for Thursday Night Football, or ESPN, which is looking for a replacement for *Monday Night Football *analyst Jon Gruden, who is now the head coach of the Oakland Raiders.
*Sporting News *reported both networks were considering offering Manning — who turned 42 on March 24 — upwards of $10 million per year for his services.
But Manning, for the time being, has said he isn't interested.
The legendary Indianapolis Colts quarterback — who last season was not only inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor and had his No. 18 retired by the team, but also saw his statue unveiled outside of Lucas Oil Stadium — has been linked to a number of other possible endeavors with his playing days now behind him, including a dive into politics or landing an executive job within an NFL team's front office.
While Manning has said himself he has "no interest in the political world," his decision not to enter the broadcast booth enables him to remain one of the entertainment industry's top "free agents." Since his retirement, he's already, among other endeavors:
• Been a guest host on TV shows
• Been a featured roaster on Comedy Central
• Continued his noted advertising efforts
• Joined Riddell as a strategic advisor
• Drove the pace car at the DAYTONA 500
But, for now, when it comes to the game of football, Manning will continue to simply be a fan and an ambassador. And with additional focus on his family, as well as the work of his PeyBack Foundation, Manning's just fine with those roles, he told reporters recently at the 48th annual 101 Awards in Kansas City.
"A lot of people seem to know what I'm going to be doing — they haven't asked me yet, or I haven't been informed yet," Manning said sarcastically. "So I kind of sometimes like to keep up with what it is that I'm doing; I sort of find out from other people.
"I kind of enjoy doing it sort of on my own terms and being a fan, being an ambassador (and) also having a chance to do some different things outside of football at the same time," Manning continued. "Philanthropy is certainly one of them."