Peyton Manning ends 18-year career with Super Bowl win
He leaves with two Super Bowl titles, four appearances and the NFL record for passing yard
Denver Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak, quarterback Peyton Manning, and Denver Broncos executive vice president of football operations and general manager John Elway as Manning announces his retirement from the NFL. Photograph: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
It also means Manning will finish his career with a Super Bowl victory in his final game. He leaves the game with two Super Bowl titles, four Super Bowl appearances and the NFL record for passing yards.
“There’s something about 18 years,” said an emotional Manning. “It’s a good number. Today I retire . . . I love the game. So you don’t need to wonder if I’ll miss it. Absolutely I will.”
Though most in the NFL felt this would be Manning’s last season, especially after plantar fasciitis in his foot forced him to miss six games at the end of the regular season, he appeared unsure of that decision in recent days. He delayed announcing his retirement even as the Broncos gave clear signals they planned to release him this week rather than guarantee his $19 million (€17.2 million) salary for another season. “If there is a list of achievements needed to attain greatness, you have checked every box – you have been a joy,” said Joe Ellis, the Broncos president.
Denver general manager John Elway, who also led the team to Super Bowl success as quarterback, paid his own tribute. “It was a treat as an ex-quarterback to see Peyton Manning prepare and play – he did revolutionise the game. Peyton Manning utilised every asset God gave him.”
The other great quarterback of Manning’s generation, Tom Brady, paid tribute to his old rival on Facebook on Sunday. “Congratulations Peyton, on an incredible career,” he wrote. Guardian Service