By Steve Silverman-
(CBS) Peyton Manning knows how to handle his business.
Once he was released by the Indianapolis Colts, he took a day or two to clear his head. Then he went about the business of finding new employment.
He went at it like a business, making a list of positives and negatives associated with each of the franchises he would consider. He responded to those teams he felt would be a good fit for him. He met with them and heard what they had to say about their team and his future. He was coming off a serious neck injury that raised legitimate questions about his ability to throw the football. He answered those questions by putting on his own version of a “pro day” and answered those concerns.
Then he made his decision on where he wanted to play. He informed the Denver Broncos and John Elway that he wanted to play for them. He informed the San Francisco 49ers and Tennessee Titans that he was not going to play for them.
He did it promptly without racing. He went through the whole process in a dignified and classy manner.
He wrote the book on how to handle one of the trickiest situations a pro football player could possibly face.
He conducted himself in the opposite manner of Brett Favre.
In doing so, Manning has cemented his reputation as Favre’s imploded.
Favre held the football nation hostage every summer. His ego could not believe that the Green Bay Packers wanted to turn over the quarterback position to a young and gifted Aaron Rodgers and he decided to stomp his feet and throw a hissy fit.
He held his breath and wavered between retirement and playing for weeks and was eventually moved to the Jets. After an up-and-down season with the Jets, he moved to the Vikings so he could stick it to his former employers in Green Bay. Once again, he had the whole football world watching as he made his annual decision on whether to play or retire. He did the same thing prior to the 2010 season before he played one more forgettable year with the Vikings.
Then it was over. We think.
Favre sat out through the 2011 season, but any time there’s a quarterback injury, his name pops up.
He’s still got that itch, but the retirement decision held last season.
It will not be that way with Manning. He was raised in a football family and he knew all about the highs and lows of the game before he pulled on an NFL jersey for the first time in 1998. He understands that at some point he won’t be able to play well enough to keep his career going just because he wants to play on Sundays. Manning is all business. When he gets to that point, he will retire and he won’t hold football hostage.
Peyton Manning will know when to say when. Unlike the other guy, who ruined his reputation with his ego and indecision.
Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman was with Pro Football Weekly for 10 years and his byline has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Playboy, NFL.com and The Sporting News. He is the author of four books, including Who’s Better, Who’s Best in Football — The Top 60 Players of All-Time. Follow him on Twitter (@profootballboy) and read more of his CBS Chicago columns here.