Since his retirement from the NFL, Peyton Manning has kept the rumor mill busy. There was a time that people expected to see Manning join the Tennessee football staff as an assistant coach. Some have speculated Manning would seek political office. His name has been frequently linked to broadcast gigs, such as “Monday Night Football.” From time to time a story will pop-up about an NFL team looking to add Manning to its front office.

Veteran football writer Peter King recently visited Manning for a lengthy feature. King says he didn’t get a feel for what’s next for Manning (aside from his “Peyton’s Places” ESPN+ series).

“Over the last four years, since Manning won the Super Bowl with Denver, we’ve all tried to pick Manning’s next road,” King writes. “Trust me now: He’s not sure what it is either. I pried. I tried. I got nothing. I really thing (sic) he’s going to keep his mind open. One day I bet he’ll pull an Elway and run a team. Maybe he’ll own one, with a football sugar daddy with billion-dollar deep pockets. But I don’t think even he knows that now.”

While it’s not exciting or even newsworthy that King didn’t get any indication of Manning’s next big project/gig, he did get the UT legend to offer some insight into the interest he’s received from NFL teams.

“I’ve had talks with a few teams. It never got into any type of negotiation, if you will,” Manning told King. “I think a couple teams have expressed interest … I’ve given them that same answer. I’ve listened. I just said, that’s a job that is not a one-foot, dip-your-toes-in-the-water job. It is all-in, all-encompassing. I guess because I have that respect for the job and what it is, what it takes, that that’s why I’ve passed at this point. At some point, maybe I am ready to say, ‘Hey I’m all in.’ But I’m just not there yet.”

But we’ll likely hear from Manning in a big way before too long. He no longer plays in the NFL, but he revealed to King he doesn’t consider himself retired.

“I do not like the ‘R’ word.”

“Retirement?” I said.

“Right,” he said. “Because I’m not.”

NFL fans, SEC fans and Vols everywhere will be watching for what’s next from Manning.