Report: Peyton Manning retirement decision expected by end of week

It looks like the Denver Broncos won't have to wait much longer for Peyton Manning to decide what he's going to do in 2016.

According to Woody Paige of the Denver Post, Manning is expected to make a decision on whether he's going to retire by the end of the week. Presumably, that means Manning's announcement will be made by March 5.

So what will Manning do?

Paige strongly hints that he expects Manning to retire. The veteran writer even ended his column with the words "Fare thee well, Peyton."

The columnist is close with Archie Manning, who he has been writing about since 1968.

If Manning makes his announcement this week, it shouldn't come as a shock to anyone. That's because of the timeline that Manning and the Broncos are working with.

Manning has to make his decision by March 9, when his $19 million salary for 2016 would become guaranteed.

Broncos executive vice president John Elway has spent the offseason emphasizing the fact that the team wouldn't rush Manning to make a decision. However, Elway did acknowledge this week that the team has to know what's going on by March 9.

"Yeah and we will, and that's hopefully what we're going to do," Elway told Pro Football Talk on Friday. "Until we get there and until we absolutely need that we're going to give him that time to continue to, obviously when he gets farther away from the game and clears his head a bit, he could kind of see where he wants to go."

At the NFL combine on Thursday, Elway confirmed that he had met with Manning sometime in the past few days.

"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. He's deserved that after 18 years in this league."

If Manning does make the decision to return in 2016, it's almost a certainty that he won't be back with the Broncos. After Denver's 24-10 win over Carolina in Super Bowl 50, Archie Manning said that his son is "done" in Denver.

About a week after Archie's comments, PFT added that the Broncos likely wouldn't even consider taking Peyton back at a reduced rate from his scheduled $19 million salary. 

Is Peyton Manning ready to wave good bye to his NFL career? (USATSI)
Is Peyton Manning ready to wave goodbye to his NFL career? (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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