Super Bowl 50 might be Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning’s last rodeo, but the Carolina Panthers also have some older ranch hands who could be playing in their final game.
An NFL Films camera picked up Manning telling New England coach Bill Belichick “this might be my last rodeo” after the AFC Championship Game. While there’s no audio of any Panthers making similar comments, the team has several players in their 30s who are at or near the end of their contracts.
Strong safety Roman Harper, 33, always wanted to play at least 10 years, a threshold he reached this season. Harper will be a free agent in March, but said he hasn’t thought about his future plans.
“I don’t know. I’ll cross that bridge when I get there,” Harper said. “I always said I wanted to play 10, then I’ll look at it after that. I ran up on 10 pretty fast. I’m still capable of playing. I don’t know.”
Wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery (33) and cornerback Charles Tillman (34) also will be free agents. Defensive end Jared Allen (33) is under contract for next season, but his $8.5 million salary is not guaranteed so the Panthers could cut him without taking a salary-cap hit.