John Elway reacts to Peyton Manning controversy, talks retirement timeline

The 20-year-old college controversy involving Peyton Manning and former Tennessee trainer Jamie Naughright has been a hot topic for almost two weeks now.

For the most part though, besides Bruce Arians and Bill Polian, most NFL-types have steered clear of the conversation by not talking about it.

It's a subject that Broncos general manager and executive vice president John Elway had been able to avoid until Thursday, when he was finally asked about it at the NFL combine.

Although Elway admitted that it's a serious matter, he said he hasn't really been following what's been going on. 

"I haven't paid much attention to it," Elway told Newsday. "I also know it's 20 years ago, but it's also something that's serious, but I also know, having been around Peyton Manning for four years, the kind of man that he is."

Elway isn't taking sides, but he did add that he trusts Manning.

"He's a guy that I trust and believe what he has to say," Elway said.

The controversy also hasn't had any effect on the Broncos' timetable for Manning. The 39-year-old quarterback has spent the past couple of weeks deciding whether or not to retire.

Elway said on Thursday that Manning still hasn't decided what he's going to do.

"I met with Peyton a couple of nights ago. We had a good talk," Elway said. "As I said after the [Super Bowl], we're going to give him as much time as he needs, and he still needs some more time. We're going to afford him that time. He's deserved that after 18 years in this league. To be able to afford him that time to figure out what he wants to do, we'll continue to do that. That's where we left it."

Of course, the Broncos can't give Manning forever to make his decision. Manning's $19 million contract becomes guaranteed on March 9, which means the team will need to know which way Manning's leaning well before then.

"We'll stay in touch and in the next week or two we'll get back together," Elway said. "It's still in his court. We're still going to give him that time. Let him enjoy the win. It's only two and a half weeks since we won. We really want him to be able to enjoy that and give him that time. He's deserved that. We'll continue to respect that."

John Elway says Peyton Manning has plenty of time to make his retirement decision. (USATSI)
John Elway says Peyton Manning has plenty of time to make his retirement decision. (USATSI)
CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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