peyton manning finally makes nfl retirement official 2016 images

The End of an Era: Peyton Manning Announces Retirement

After 18 seasons in the NFL, countless records, and one of the best careers in the history of professional sports, Peyton Manning is retiring a champion.

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Since Manning led the Denver Broncos to a victory in Super Bowl 50 over the Carolina Panthers February 7, the media, fans, and players have been going back and forth on his future; however, the consensus quickly emerged that Manning should retire a Super Bowl champion—something only John Elway and Ray Lewis have been able to do to end their Hall of Fame careers. Lewis and Manning, of course, are not in Canton yet, but it’s only a matter of time.

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Manning retires as the all-time leader in passing yards, passing touchdowns, wins by a quarterback, league MVPs, and pretty much every other statistical category for quarterbacks. Manning is also the only starting quarterback in NFL history to win a Super Bowl with two different teams, taking home the Super Bowl XLI Lombardi Trophy with the Indianapolis Colts and securing Super Bowl 50 with the Denver Broncos.

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“When you look at everything Peyton has accomplished as a player and person, it’s easy to see how fortunate we’ve been to have him on our team,” said Elway, who played a pivotal role in bringing Manning to Denver after he left the Colts. “Peyton was everything that we thought he was and even more—not only for the football team but in the community. I’m very thankful Peyton chose to play for the Denver Broncos, and I congratulate him on his Hall of Fame career.”

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It’s crazy to think that at one point there was a nationwide debate raging over whether the Colts should select Manning or Ryan Leaf with the first overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft. People said his career was over after a serious neck surgery cost him a season and led to the Colts cutting him. The media turned on him this season as he struggled with a foot injury and took on more of a game-manager role.

It all made this final victory all the sweeter.

The Sheriff has left the building.

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