John Elway wants Peyton Manning to leave the game of football the same way in which he did—with a Super Bowl win.
Speaking with Les Shapiro at the JCC Sports Hall of Fame Breakfast on Thursday morning, Elway conveyed his desire for Manning to exit the NFL on top of the world.
“He understands the idea and what my focus is, and that’s trying to win a World Championship and obviously with him being 39-years-old, that’s his focus too,” Elway said, via the team’s website. “I told him this: I appreciate him coming to Denver and playing and finishing his career in Denver and I feel obligated to him as much as I do the Broncos is to try to figure out a way to let him walk away into the sunset with a World Championship.”
Elway, the Broncos’ Executive Vice President of Football Operations, has certainly done his part over the past few years to make this happen for his team and for Manning.
His latest achievement towards this goal was to convince Pro Bowl guard Evan Mathis to join Denver for the 2015 season, despite offering significantly less than what at least one other team had offered.
Denver’s offense is supposed to look different this year under new head coach Gary Kubiak, who has always been a run-first guy. However, as long as Manning is behind center the Broncos will still feature a potent aerial assault. The balanced approach could potentially make this offense even more dangerous than it has been come January that we’ve seen the past couple of years.
Throw in a defense that can certainly challenge for a top-five ranking at the end of the year—stout against the run, outstanding pass-rushers and a phenomenal secondary—and you have a recipe for success.
The Broncos may not win a championship this year, but Elway has assembled a roster capable of achieving the feat, meaning Manning could very well “walk away into the sunset with a World Championship.”