When Peyton Manning walked into the Denver Broncos facility at Dove Valley, everything changed. Instantly, an organization who's recent history had become one of the most turbulent in professional sports became a championship contender.
Mile High Huddle reported eight days ago that Manning had decided to retire and would announce it in the coming days. That came today.
Manning, through ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, announced that he had informed the Broncos of his decision to walk away from football after one of the most storied careers in the history of professional sports.
Manning is the NFL’s career leader in passing touchdowns, passing yardage, and total wins. However, The Sherriff’s legacy extends far beyond the box score. Peyton Manning changed the way the quarterback position is played.
On ESPN Sunday morning, Mike Tirico described Manning as “maniacal.” That may be an understatement. He built a reputation as a fierce competitor and his ability to read a defense and call his own plays from the line of scrimmage made him one of the most important players in the history of football.
While he may have been great at changing plays at the line, Manning has never been fond of change in his own life, which is why Manning’s comeback from neck surgery and time in Denver is one of the most remarkable in the history of professional sports.
Instead of failing to recapture the greatness that had defined him in Indianapolis, Manning somehow became an even better player with the Broncos.
In 2013, he re-wrote the quarterback record book, throwing for 55 touchdowns and 5,477 yards on his way to his third Super Bowl appearance and league record fifth MVP award.
However, despite his remarkable statistical greatness, Manning’s playoff record had always kept him out of the conversation as the greatest quarterback of all-time. This season, Manning changed that narrative.
Despite a disappointing statistical season, at age 39 Manning became only the second quarterback in franchise history to quarterback the Denver Broncos to a Super Bowl victory. So, like the man who recruited him to Denver four years ago, Manning will go out on top of the world as a Super Bowl champion.
“Peyton was a player that guys wanted to play with,” Broncos General Manager and Vice President of Football Operations John Elway said in a statement. “That made us better as a team, and I’m thrilled that we were able to win a championship in his final year. Peyton won a lot of awards and a lot of records, but to me, what he helped our team accomplish during the last four years stands out the most.”
Manning plans to hold a press conference tomorrow morning at Broncos team headquarters to make his decision official.
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