It seems fitting that number 18 will retire after 18 NFL seasons. According to the Denver Post and ESPN, Peyton Manning will officially retire this week, having informed the Denver Broncos of his decision on Saturday. The announcement will officially come on Monday during a press conference in Denver.
Manning heads off into retirement holding his second Lombardi Trophy over his head, having one his first Super Bowl championship with the Indianapolis Colts in 2006 before leading the Denver Broncos to the title this past season. He leaves the game the record holder in nearly every major passing category, including career passing yards (71,940), career passing touchdowns (539), single-season passing yards (5,477), and single-season passing touchdowns (55). He was named the league MVP a record five times, and he was selected to 14 Pro Bowls, along with being a seven-time First-Team All-Pro selection.
Manning, the first overall draft pick in the 1998 Draft, spent 14 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, starting all 208 games in the first 13 years before being sidelined for the entire 2011 season following neck surgery. He was released following that 2011 season, signing with the Broncos in 2012 and spending four years in the Mile High City.He led the league in passing yards three times, passing attempts three times, completions four times, touchdowns, three times, completion percentage twice, and passer rating three times.
Off the field, 2015 and early portion of 2016 have proved to be different years for Manning as well. He was tied to Human Growth Hormone shipments by Al-Jazeera America, with shipments said to have been delivered to the Manning household and addressed to his wife, a report Manning denied. Manning was also tied to a sexual harassment allegation and a lawsuit against the University of Tennessee in which a "hostile sexual environment" is cited. Manning has stated that he was "mooning" a teammate while Dr. Jamie Naughright, a trainer at the University when Manning was playing football there, alleges Manning pulled down his shorts and placed his genitals on her head and face.
The 2015 season proved to be an odd one for Manning on the field as well, as surpassed Brett Favre to take the top spot in the career passing yards list in the same game in which he was benched. He then missed six games due to a foot injury before coming back as the second-string quarterback behind Brock Osweiler, only to be inserted into the lineup in the second half of that game. Relying heavily on the defense and a running game, Manning and the Broncos found their way into a matchup with the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50, where Denver came away with the championship.
Manning, who will be a first-ballot Hall of Fame selection in five years, will now join John Elway as quarterbacks who won the Super Bowl and retired before making their way to enshrinement Canton, Ohio.