Peyton Manning ducks retirement question, commits to lots of Budweiser

By John Breech |
February 7, 2016 11:05 pm ET

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- If Super Bowl 50 was Peyton Manning's final NFL game, then it was perfect.

Manning wasn't perfect, but the perfect thing is that he didn't have to be and he knew it. Denver's 24-10 win over Carolina at Levi's Stadium on Sunday epitomized Manning's 2015 season: He accepted his role as game manager and let his defense do the rest.

Now, he gets to celebrate, and if you're wondering how exactly a 39-year-old quarterback celebrates something like this, it sounds like Manning plans on going out like it's his 21st birthday.

"I'm going to drink a lot of Budweiser tonight," Manning told CBS sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson. "I promise you that."

Manning will be able to afford a lot of Budweiser because the Broncos Super Bowl win earned him a $2 million bonus. Manning also earned a $2 million bonus for Denver's AFC title win, which means he's earned $4 million in bonus money over the past three weeks.

So will that be the last NFL money that Manning earns?

During the postgame trophy ceremony, Manning was asked by CBS's Jim Nantz if this was his "final rodeo," and Manning said he's going to take some time to mull it over.

"I'll take some time to reflect. I got some good advice from Tony Dungy, and he said, 'Don't make an emotional decision,' and this has been an emotional week," Manning said. "I want to go kiss my wife and kiss my kids and I'll take some time to reflect."

Manning also saved a kiss for Papa John.

Speaking of Manning's family, Peyton's mom told after the game that she wants Peyton to call it quits.

"I want Peyton to retire," Olivia Manning said.

If this was Manning's last game, it was an ugly one. The good news for Manning, though, is that history won't remembered it that way.

History won't remember that Manning only threw for 141 yards on a 13-of-23 showing.

History is going to remember that Manning beat Tom Brady to get to the Super Bowl.

History is going to remember that he rode his defense to a Super Bowl win over a Panthers team that many considered to be the best in football.

And most importantly for Manning, history is going to remember that he won two Super Bowls and is the only QB in NFL history to do so with two different franchises.

Peyton Manning is all smiles after the Broncos' big win. (USATSI)

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