Peyton Manning won’t be returning to the field next football season.
Manning became the oldest starting quarterback in Super Bowl history last month after guiding Denver past the Carolina Panthers 24-10 in Super Bowl 50, his final game.
He is the only quarterback to win Super Bowl championships with two different teams (Denver, Indianapolis).
Then after the Super Bowl, a sexual assault allegation from his days at Tennessee resurfaced – a female athletic trainer alleged he had placed his exposed genitals on her face during an exam; Manning said he was “mooning” another athlete in the room.
“There’s something about 18 years”, Manning told reporters at a news conference at the Denver Broncos team headquarters in Englewood, Colorado.
Coach Gary Kubiak, who won the Super Bowl in his first season with the Broncos, commended Manning for his diligent efforts through an injury-plagued 2015 season. Manning’s recall of defenses, situations and plays – he once gave detailed descriptions of the scoring plays of every player who caught just one touchdown pass from him – was the stuff of football legend. He was the most valuable player of Super Bowl XLI, has been named to 14 Pro Bowls, has 14 4,000-yard passing seasons (NFL record), and is the NFL’s all-time leader in passing yards (71,940) and touchdown passes (539).
At several times during his announcement, Manning fought back tears, and spoke of honoring the legacy of his father, Archie Manning, both as a pro and a man. He also made several references to the sport of football itself, which was more than a game to him.
Eighteen is the magic number for Peyton Manning.
Life is not shrinking for me, it is morphing into a whole new world of possibilities.
Do you think he could still play for another year? “Everyone. He spoke to everybody, and that’s one thing that stood out to me, compared to other quarterbacks that we had had before”, Harris said.
“I’d say, ‘We’re only 2-8 right now”. “But I’ve always had a good sense of timing”.
But overall, Monday’s focus was on an unprecedented football career and best wishes for whatever’s next for the well-liked player.
Peyton Manning says nothing is going to overshadow this “joyous day”, especially not something that happened decades ago.
“It is with great admiration that I congratulate Peyton Manning for his tremendous career in the National Football League”.