Ever since Peyton Manning, 41, retired from the NFL in March 2016, there’s been speculation about what he’ll do next. Tennessee coach Butch Jones was asked about the Volunteer legend’s post-retirement involvement with his alma mater, and if that could ever lead to Manning joining the coaching staff.
“Well, Peyton and I are in constant dialogue,” Jones said at SEC Media Days. “We’re in constant communication. I think right now he’s enjoying retirement. I know he’s looking forward to hosting the ESPYS coming up. But he’s an individual that we really tried to really involve him in our program, as much as he can because he has many things going on right now. And we had an opportunity to bring him back about a month ago and be able to see our quarterbacks and talk with them and just get around our football team, which obviously is extremely healthy for everyone.”
Jones that hinted at some point in the future, we could be talking about a Coach Manning.
“But, again, I know he has plans down the road, and he’ll be successful in anything that he chooses to do,” Jones said. “But we try to involve him as much in our program as possible.”
Jones’ “plans down the road” comments came in response to a question about Manning getting into coaching, but it’s worth acknowledging that Jones could be talking about any type of professional plans. Manning’s name has been floated as a possible candidate for US Senate representing Tennessee. Manning spoke at a GOP retreat in January and played golf with President Donald Trump last month. The political rumor mill has suggested that Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) may not run for re-election in 2020, and Manning could run to fill that seat.
Whether he chooses to represent the Volunteers or the Volunteer State, Tennessee fans will be keeping a close eye on Manning’s plans down the road.