Peyton Manning retiring on Monday after glorious ‘last rodeo’

Published: Sunday 6th March 2016 by The News Editor

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Peyton Manning’s Super Bowl 50 win with the Denver Broncos was indeed his last rodeo, with the five-time NFL MVP to announce his retirement on Monday.

The 39-year-old quarterback guided the Broncos to a 24-10 win over the Carolina Panthers last month, his second Super Bowl win.

After Denver beat the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game to reach the Super Bowl, Manning was caught on camera telling Patriots coach Bill Belichick he might be playing in his final season.

“This might be my last rodeo. So it sure has been a pleasure,” Manning said.

A little over a month on from the Super Bowl, Manning will confirm the decision on Monday, although the Broncos have already made the news public.

“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,” Broncos general manager John Elway 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.”

Manning played his final four seasons in Denver but the prime of his career came during a 14-year spell in Indianapolis, where he led the Colts to two Super Bowls, winning the trophy in 2006 after being drafted first overall out of Tennessee in 1998.

Manning ends his career as the NFL’s record holder in career touchdown passes, with 539, and in passing yards, a total of 71,940.

He also holds single-season records in passing touchdowns, with 55, and passing yards – 5,477 – and is the only quarterback to lead two teams to a Super Bowl victory.

Manning, son of former New Orleans Saints quarterback Archie and brother of New York Giants passer Eli, was also a Super Bowl MVP, a 14-time Pro Bowl selection and a seven-time first-team All-Pro.

His teams made the play-offs in 15 of his 18 seasons, and he reached the 4,000-yard passing mark in 14 seasons.

He left Indianapolis as a free agent in 2012 after the Colts had moved to replace him due to a spinal injury which forced him to miss the 2011 season.

He found a new home in Denver, sparking a run of success in which the Broncos posted a league-high 55 total wins and a .764 winning mark, reaching the Super Bowl in 2014 and 2016 and winning the latter.

The Broncos made their third consecutive play-off appearance under Manning in 2014 and that season he became the league’s all-time leader in touchdown passes, passing Brett Favre with his 509th touchdown.

Although it ended in glory in California, Manning’s final season was a tough one as he missed seven games with a heel injury and struggled for form while he was on the field, but he returned in week 17 to join a remarkable run to glory.

While he departs as a Super Bowl winner, Manning has not been able to retire entirely on his own terms. During the season, he was forced to deny stories linking him to human growth hormone, and since the Super Bowl his name has surfaced in a lawsuit which alleges the University of Tennessee created a “hostile sexual environment” with an attitude of indifference towards alleged assaults by student-athletes. Again, Manning denied wrongdoing.

His on-field record is without question however, and he is a lock to go into the Hall of Fame as soon as he is eligible in five years’ time.

Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak said: “It was a blessing to coach Peyton Manning.

“Nobody worked harder at the game and nobody prepared harder than Peyton…

“He and I battled together and along the way we talked about dreaming that it could end the way it ended. And I’ll be damned, it did.

“Peyton and I will have some interesting stories throughout the rest of our lives to talk about going through this year together.

“He’s a Hall of Fame player and a Hall of Fame person.”

Published: Sunday 6th March 2016 by The News Editor

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