(Reuters) - Peyton Manning has not said whether Super Bowl 50 will be the final game of his illustrious career but the owner of his former team has asked him to walk away from the game as an Indianapolis Colt, according to a report on Thursday.
The NFL’s website, citing a recent interview between Colts owner Jim Irsay and an Indianapolis TV station, said Irsay would like the best player in his franchise’s history to eventually sign a one-day contract and end his career in blue and white.
“I want him to and I’ve asked him to,” Irsay told WISH-TV. “I would love to have him retire as a Colt and how he handles that part of his career.”
The 39-year-old Denver Broncos quarterback owns a host of NFL passing records but the prime of his career came during his 14 seasons in Indianapolis where he lead the Colts to two Super Bowls, winning the big game in 2006.
But after missing the entire 2011 season following multiple neck surgeries, the Colts cut Manning rather than pay him a $28 million bonus and one month later took highly-touted quarterback Andrew Luck with the top pick of the 2012 NFL Draft.
Manning enjoyed three impressive seasons with Denver until the current campaign when he battled through injuries, missed six games and seemed to lose arm strength.
There has been plenty of talk that Manning, who will turn 40 in March, will call an end to his Hall of Fame career sometime after Sunday’s Super Bowl clash with the Carolina Panthers.
If he does, Irsay is hoping for a happy ending.
“I told Peyton right after the (AFC Championship Game) everyone here is so excited, and it’s so deserving because I don’t think anyone is more respected by everyone in the game, meaning you guys in the media to the players on the field he’s playing against,” Irsay said in the report.
“It’s just so deserving, it really is.”
Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes