Dolphins coach Adam Gase reached out to retired quarterback Peyton Manning in the immediate aftermath of Ryan Tannehill’s knee injury last December.
That’s according to Peyton’s father, Archie, who revealed that nugget in an interview with The New Orleans Times Picayune on Friday.
Archie Manning said Friday that he witnessed a text-message exchange between Peyton and Gase.
“He said, ‘Hey 18, [Ryan] Tannehill went down,'” Archie said. “[Gase] said, ‘I think he’s going to miss some time. The first question I’m going to get at the press conference in the morning is if I’m going to try to bring you to Miami. What do you want me to tell them?'”
That phrasing allowed Gase to gauge Manning’s interest in a comeback without asking in so many words.
Said Archie: “The text message came back from Peyton, ‘You tell them I could probably come play, but there’s no way I can miss carpool the next two weeks.’ So, he was done.”
Gase was the Broncos’ offensive coordinator during two seasons when Manning was the team’s quarterback. During the first of those two seasons (2013), the Broncos became the first team in history to score 600 points.
Manning, who turned 41 in March, guided the Broncos to a victory over Carolina in Super Bowl 50 in February 2015 but had his worst statistical season that year, with a 67.9 passer rating, nine touchdowns and 17 interceptions in 10 games. He retired a month later and kept a fairly low profile last season, eschewing broadcasting opportunities.
Meanwhile, the Dolphins signed journeyman T.J. Yates to back up Matt Moore after Tannehill’s injury. Moore led the Dolphins to a victory against Arizona after Tannehill was injured in that game, then went 2-1 as a starter to close the regular season, with the Dolphins clinching a playoff berth in week 16 against Buffalo, before losing in week 17 against New England.
Moore then went 29 for 36 for 289 yards, with one touchdown and one interception, in the Dolphins’ 30-12 playoff loss at Pittsburgh.
Manning and Gase have maintained a strong relationship. Manning visited Gase, and dined with the coach and Tannehill, in South Florida last spring, shortly after Gase landed the Dolphins’ coaching job.