Peyton Manning is calling it a career.
The two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback will announce the decision Monday, following a FOXSports.com report last week that the team was preparing to move on without Manning ahead of the start of the NFL’s new calendar year on Monday.
Manning’s Denver Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 last month, and their five-time NFL MVP quarterback wouldn’t commit to a decision after the game. But now he is set to ride off with a title in the same way fellow Broncos quarterback John Elway did after the 1998 season.
With Monday’s announcement, Manning, 39, will officially end weeks of speculation about his future fueled by his comments to Patriots head coach Bill Belichick after the Broncos won the AFC title game. The 18-year veteran was heard on NFL mics saying it could be his “last rodeo.”
“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,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Sunday in a statement.
“Peyton’s competitive fire and love of the game made him a legendary player who thrilled fans for a generation. He has served as a great representative of the NFL both on the field and in his community. We are forever grateful for Peyton’s unmatched contributions to the game and know that his success will continue in the next phase of his life.”
Manning, who improved his record to 2-2 in Super Bowls with the win in Santa Clara, had been hoping to erase the bitter taste of a 43-8 loss to the Seahawks two years ago and did just that. His Colts team also beat the Bears to win his first Lombardi Trophy in Super Bowl XLI but lost to the Saints three years later.
“It’s been a unique season, and (you’re) probably tired of hearing me saying this, but I really have just tried to take it one week at a time and not take it too far ahead,” Manning said after the game.
Manning is a sure-fire first-ballot Hall of Famer and possibly the greatest quarterback of all time. He is first in NFL history in career passing yards (71,940) and passing touchdowns (539) and is tied for first in wins by a quarterback with 200 (playoffs and regular season combined).
Injured and ineffective for much of the 2015 season, Manning was benched Nov. 15 in favor of Brock Osweiler, who went 4-2 in games he started and finished. Manning replaced Osweiler in the regular-season finale and rallied the Broncos to a win over the Chargers that locked up the AFC’s top seed. He threw just nine touchdown passes with 17 interceptions during the regular season – a far cry from the 44 TD passes and 12 interceptions he averaged in his previous three years with the Broncos – but had only one interception in Denver’s three playoff victories.