• Manning soft-pedals retirement possibility

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    Quarterback Peyton Manning No.18 of the Denver Broncos delivers a pass against the San Diego Chargers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 3, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. AFP PHOTO

    Quarterback Peyton Manning No.18 of the Denver Broncos delivers a pass against the San Diego Chargers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 3, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. AFP PHOTO

    LOS ANGELES: Five-time NFL Most Valuable Player Peyton Manning was at pains on Friday to damp down speculation that Super Bowl 50 between his Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers will mark the end of his career.

    Cameras caught the 39-year-old quarterback’s exchange with New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick after last weekend’s epic 20-18 Denver win at Mile High Stadium.

    “Hey, listen, this might be my last rodeo. So, it sure has been a pleasure,” Manning told Belichick.

    “What happened to private conversations on the 50-yard-line, they just don’t exist anymore,” a mock-irked Manning said at a post-training press conference on Thursday.

    “No confirmation on that, whatsoever. We are on to Carolina.”

    Manning will become the oldest starting quarterback in Super Bowl history when the Broncos clash with the Panthers in San Francisco on February 7.

    His future has been the subject of intense speculation after a difficult season which saw him battling injury and struggling to produce his best form.

    He lost his position as Broncos starting quarterback but returned during the postseason to guide Denver into their second Super Bowl appearance in two years after their defeat in 2014 to Seattle.

    AFP

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