After earning a record five MVP awards and, finally, his second Super Bowl trophy, Peyton Manning will retire from the NFL.
USA TODAY Sports has confirmed Manning will make the announcement on Monday, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. The person requested anonymity because Manning has not made the decision public.
ESPN was the first to report the decision.
This was the ending most were expecting after Manning’s 18th season, a year unlike any other in his career. For much of the 2015 season, Manning, 39, was at his worst, looking old and too weak with a depleted right arm and balky left foot.
But when it was over, he was good enough to help lead the Denver Broncos to their third Super Bowl title as a complementary piece to the NFL’s No. 1 defense, the season culminating with a 24-10 win over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50.
Still, Manning’s post-Super Bowl time has been quiet. Renewed scrutiny of the alleged 1986 incident at the University of Tennessee incident with a school trainer and the cloud of an HGH investigation have threatened to muddy the squeaky-clean image Manning so carefully crafted during his playing career.
Manning retires as the only quarterback in league history to lead two franchises to Super Bowl titles.
Manning built his legacy in Indianapolis after the Colts made him the No. 1 pick of the 1998 draft. He earned four MVP of his awards while playing for the Colts, started two Super Bowls for them and was named MVP of Super Bowl XLI after Indianapolis beat the Chicago Bears.
But a series of surgical procedures on his neck, including a spinal fusion surgery in 2011, led to his release from the Colts and his arrival in Denver in 2012.
In his four seasons in the Mile High City, Manning led the Broncos to four AFC West titles and two Super Bowls appearances. He won his fifth MVP award in 2013 while setting single-season records for touchdowns (55) and passing yards (5,477) in 2013.
Manning retires as the all-time leader with 539 regular-season touchdown passes and 71,940 yards. He and Brett Favre are tied for the most regular-season wins as starting quarterbacks with 186, but Manning’s total jumps to a record 200 including playoffs.
SOURCE: USA TODAY Sports – Lindsay H. Jones