Peyton Manning Turned Down MNF So He Wouldn’t Have to Critique Eli

The five-time MVP also didn't want to call games involving any of his ex-teammates

Peyton Manning and Eli Manning in 2016. (Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for Cantor Fitzgerald)
Peyton Manning and Eli Manning in 2016. (Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for Cantor Fitzgerald)
By Evan Bleier / July 3, 2019 10:09 am

Peyton Manning turned down millions of dollars because he didn’t want to be put in the position where he would have to criticize his kid brother.

According to Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports, the five-time MVP declined an offer to join the Monday Night Football booth primarily because he did not want to call games involving Eli Manning or any of his former teammates on the Denver Broncos,

The younger Manning’s New York Giants are scheduled to appear on Monday Night Football twice while the Denver Broncos, with whom Manning played from 2012 to 2015, are scheduled once.

“If he ever decides [Monday Night Football] is something he wants to do, it’s going to be after Eli has finished his career and he gets a little bit further from his era of playing and maybe some of his teammates have moved on, too,” a source told Robinson. “It would have been a tough position for him this season, with the Giants [and Broncos] being on the schedule. There is a lot of loyalty there for him and I don’t think he’d ever want to be in a position where he’d be conflicted about his analysis. It just wouldn’t have been a comfortable situation this year.”

In May, Manning gave his version of why he turned down ESPN’s offer to step into the broadcast booth on MNF while speaking with Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post.

“I talked to the Monday Night Football folks,” Manning told O’Halloran. “I enjoyed talking to them. I had a great conversation. It wasn’t the right time this year. Maybe it will never be. I enjoy talking and listening. But I am pretty good, going back to recruiting in high school, and then telling you pretty quickly that I am out or that I am in. I am not trying to lead anybody on. I think college coaches that recruited me appreciated that.”

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