Peyton Manning, the NFL’s all-time leading passer and its winningest starting quarterback, told the Denver Broncos that he is retiring, a spokesman for team says.
Manning is stepping away from the game after winning his second Super Bowl and after 18 seasons.
“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,” John Elway, Broncos Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager, said in a statement. “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.”
ESPN, which first broke the story, reports:
“History will show the quarterback made four Super Bowl trips with two titles, set a mountain of records and earned a place on football’s Mount Rushmore.
“Manning, who played 14 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, was a first-ballot Hall of Famer-in-waiting before spinal fusion surgery caused him to miss the 2011 season. He went to the Broncos as a free agent in 2012 and authored the most prolific season of any quarterback in history in 2013. The Broncos made two Super Bowl trips in Manning’s final three seasons.”
Manning hinted at his retirement during the playoffs earlier this year. When Denver won the AFC Championship microphones picked up Manning telling New England head coach Bill Belichick, “This may be my last rodeo.”