ENGLEWOOD, Co. – Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning announced today that he is retiring from the NFL after sixteen years, the majority of which were spent with the Indianapolis Colts. Manning, who is the NFL all-time leader in career touchdown passes, told reporters he is ready to call it quits. “Football has been my entire life for the last twenty years and I’ve been fortunate enough to make a successful career out of it,” he said, adding “with the support of close friends and family, I made the decision to retire after the 2015 season to focus on other interests.”
Manning cut short a 90 million dollar contract with the Denver Broncos to pursue other interests, one of which, surprisingly, is baseball. “Football has been my job for the last sixteen years,” Manning said,” but my real passion is baseball.”
Moira Brown, spokeswoman for the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, a minor league team, spoke to this reporter during a phone interview, saying, “A new era has begun. The team is very pleased with Peyton’s decision to sign with the Sky Sox as a relief pitcher. Peyton has been attending spring training and is integrating well with the team.”
The Sky Sox, a Triple A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers, struggled last season with one of the worst pitching staffs in the Pacific Coast League. MLB.com contributor Abraham Washington speculates Manning will serve an important role coming out of the bullpen. “When you have a team like the Sky Sox, who had the third worst ERA (5.43) and the least amount of saves (24) in the league last season, a guy like Peyton, with his displayed arm strength can only serve to improve those numbers. We may be looking at one of the best turnarounds in minor league baseball history; a true ‘Worst to First’ story.” Washington added he believes “Manning has the ability to lead the Sky Sox to their first championship since 1995.”
Manning has signed a one year deal with options and is receiving the maximum salary allowed for a first year rookie totaling $850 a month. Pending a successful first year, his contract could increase to $2,150 per month.