Peyton Manning still isn't sure if he will return to the Denver Broncos next season, but he is grateful to be given the time to make a thoughtful and careful choice.
"I haven't made a decision. I'm still trying to take some time to evaluate some things and to talk to some people," Manning said Friday at the Bart Starr Award banquet.
"Some of those things are personal. Some things I want to discuss with Joe [Ellis, the Broncos' president and CEO] and John [Elway] and Coach [Gary Kubiak].
"There has been a lot of change since our last game and I want to hear what they have to say and get their thoughts on some things, share some thoughts of my own with them and get some feedback."
The Broncos quarterback does not have a timetable for when he will decide if he is coming back to the team, but does not want to keep fans waiting or have a dramatic reveal.
"I'm not interested in making this a lingering thing. I'd like to make a decision soon. At the same time, Coach and Joe and John have instructed me to take some time. So I am following their orders."
Manning injured his right quad in November and opted out of the Pro Bowl to continue to heal.
During that time that he has re-evaluated his health and what his abilities can add to Denver, with a physical slated for March set to be pivotal in Manning's decision.
"I'm taking some time to assess some things and to see [if I should play]. That's something that"s important to me," Manning said.
"It's not whether can I physically do it for myself, but can I physically do it to help the team."
Another contributing factor in Manning's return has to do with Kubiak, who will be taking over from John Fox as Denver's head coach.
"I have had some dialogue with Coach Kubiak; I did have a chance to see him in person the other day," Manning added.
"These NFL rules are a little bit different. You're not allowed to talk football, so it's a chance for he and I to get to know each other.
"It's difficult to sit and talk to a football coach and not discuss football. [You] have dinner, you eat and you sit in silence for a little bit until you figure out what you're allowed to talk about. But I did enjoy getting to know him. I look forward to doing that again."