Ex-Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning announced on Sunday, Mar. 6 that he will retire from playing football after eighteen seasons in the NFL. He was arguably one of the best quarterbacks of all-time, and his legacy will be remembered by the NFL fan base. It seems as if it is all too good to be true after winning Super Bowl 50; he is the only quarterback to ever win a Super Bowl with two different franchises, and the victory against the Carolina Panthers marked the 200 win of his career, advancing past Brett Favre on the all-time quarterback wins leaderboard. Manning was set to make $19 million if he remained on the roster for the upcoming season. He turns forty on March 24.
Despite the “early” retirement, Manning was prepared to only play one more season of football. “This might be my last rodeo,” said Manning to New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick after Denver beat New England in the AFC Championship game. Manning’s records include most touchdown passes thrown in a season (55) or career, most passing yards in a season (5,477) or career, most quarterback wins including the playoffs (200), and most career touchdown passes (539). Since being drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in 1998, he has been named to fourteen Pro Bowls and has been the league MVP an astonishing five times. He was traded to Denver in 2012. “Peyton Manning’s extraordinary career was driven by his talent, an incredible work ethic, and an unwavering desire to be the best and ended so perfectly for him with a Super Bowl victory,” stated NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “Peyton’s competitive fire and love of the game made him a legendary player who thrilled fans for a generation.” After the Super Bowl victory, scandals regarding the sexual harassment claims from his time at the University of Tennessee resurfaced. Manning has aggressively denied that he was involved, and the full story is unknown to the public.
People believe Manning has retired at the perfect time; thus, he will retire an American hero to sports unlike Favre, who was shamed for not leaving the game at the right time to come out as an icon. Manning finished his career with 9,380 pass attempts with 6,125 of those being complete (65.3 percent) and an outstanding 71,940 passing yards. Whether one is a Colts, Broncos, or just an NFL fan, they will be able to bask in the memories and excitement Manning brought to the NFL. Even if one is a fan of a rival team of Indianapolis or Denver, it can be concluded that he molded himself into the game and that is irreplaceable. Upon Manning’s retirement, fans are still on-edge about when Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady will retire. Brady played an outstanding season in 2015-2016, but due to his age of thirty-eight, people are wondering just how much juice he has left in order to maintain his elite status. Now that Manning has retired, people are curious to see which moves these and other football veterans will make in order to adjust to the changes.