ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – (AP) – Peyton Manning wasn’t ruling out a future role with the Denver Broncos amid ownership uncertainty on one of the NFL’s iconic franchises.
“I’m just as interested in what’s going to happen as anyone because I care,” Manning said on a Zoom call Wednesday ahead of his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame next month.
The trust, which runs the $ 3.2 billion franchise, could agree to one of late owner Pat Bowlen’s children to become the team’s next controlling owner – Brittany Bowlen, 31, is the preferred choice – or that Team to sell overall.
Arapahoe County’s District Judge John E. Scipione this week signed a motion dismissing a lawsuit filed by the late owner’s two daughters from his first marriage.
Amie Bowlen Klemmer and Beth Bowlen Wallace had claimed their father had Alzheimer’s disease and was “unduly influenced” in establishing the three-person trust that will lead the team in his absence and determine the future of the franchise.
Bowlen died in 2019, a month before he was inducted into the Hall of Fame and five years after stepping down from his duties as head of the team after announcing he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
The judge put the four-week trial, which was due to begin July 12, on hold earlier this month.
In his release notice on Tuesday, the judge wrote that Bowlen’s estate planning documents “are valid, enforceable, and reflect Patrick D. Bowlen’s intent and will” and that the trustees – team president Joe Ellis and attorneys Rich Slivka and Mary Kelly – have the authority to administer the trust .
This week’s dismissal of the lawsuit suggests an agreement has been reached, but both sides are prohibited from commenting on the case.
Ellis has said that all seven of Bowlen’s children named in the Trust must agree to the choice of whether to choose one of them or sell the team.
That has led to speculation that Manning, who retired after the Broncos won Super Bowl 50, might be involved in some way.
“I’ve worked year after year in this second chapter,” said Manning. “I’ll try this year. I don’t go over it because you try different things and maybe you like it, maybe you don’t. I will always be a part of the Broncos and Colts organizations in some way.
“But I’m interested in what’s going to happen. I haven’t officially said no to anything for ages. I said no to some things every year. Things may change in the next year. So who knows what’s going to happen. “
Manning said he had always hoped to end his career in Indianapolis, where the Colts voted him # 1 in the 1998 NFL Draft, but a neck injury led to his release from the Colts and made him the most sought-after free agent in NFL history only surpassed by Tom Brady’s jump from New England to Tampa a year ago and Reggie White’s move from Philadelphia to Green Bay in 1993.
Impressed with John Elway’s approach, Manning turned to the Broncos.
“Denver, boy, you just received me with open arms,” Manning said. “They were the only team that really understood what I was going through emotionally and physically, and a lot of it was Elway.
“They were the only team that said, ‘Hey Peyton, give us your Indianapolis playbook and we’ll create this hybrid offensive with the games we like in Denver that will help you at this point in your career. We’re really going to give you the chance to get started again. ‘ And not all teams did that. I will always be indebted to Denver. … you can only live in one place, and Denver is just a great place to live. I couldn’t have made a better decision. “
Manning has lived in Denver since he retired from the NFL a month after becoming the first quarterback to win Super Bowls with two different teams.
He and his young son Marshall are often spotted playing nuggets, and Manning threw the ceremonial first throw in baseball All star game Tuesday night at Coors Field.
With the Rockies icon and former University of Tennessee football teammate Todd Helton watching, Manning threw his throw at Colorado pitcher German Marquez.
“In my head it was a 0-2 count,” Manning explained. “So I had a pitch to throw away. I told Helton that. “
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