Teammate C.J. Anderson thinks Peyton Manning should retire

Peyton Manning is being coy about his NFL future, but it's reasonable to think that he will retire in the coming weeks, and in five years, he'll be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

"I'll take some time to reflect," Manning told CBS Sports' Tracy Wolfson on the field moments after the Broncos beat the Panthers in Super Bowl 50. And then he talked about drinking a lot of Budweisers.

A few days later, Broncos general manager John Elway said pretty much the same thing.

"We're going to enjoy this, let Peyton enjoy this," Elway said. "I'm sure he'll sit down with his family. Eventually we'll talk to him too and go through that. There's no timeline for that right now."

But there is a timeline: If Manning is still on the roster on March 9, the official start of the new league year, his $19 million base salary ($21.5 million cap number) becomes fully guaranteed. That's a lot to pay any player, especially a 39-year-old quarterback who looks like, well, a 39-year-old quarterback.

So while Manning's not saying anything, backfield mate C.J. Anderson has some thoughts on what the quarterback should do.

"I think so, man," the Broncos running back told NFL Total Access when asked if Manning should call it a career. "Let him ride off into the sunset in the correct way. What else does he have to do? He's got five MVPs, two Super Bowl rings, he's first in every statistical category. My man 18, man, walk off, man ... it was a pleasure, one-eight. I had fun with you."

At least one teammate thinks Peyton Manning should retire. (USATSI)
At least one teammate thinks Peyton Manning should retire. (USATSI)

That's the thing: What else does Manning have left to prove? And even if he does think he can still play, it won't be in Denver. Which means he'll likely have to suit up for a team facing long playoff odds. And, really, does anyone want to watch a 40-year-old, over-the-hill Manning wearing a Rams or Texans jersey?

Plus, there's this: In terms of nostalgic parallels, Manning's retirement would dovetail nicely with that of Elway, who at 38, walked off into the sunset following the Broncos' Super Bowl title following the 1998 season. Put another way: Those Papa John's pizzas aren't going to sell themselves.

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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