Manning accolades pour in from Denver and Indianapolis
Peyton Manning ended his 18-year career on Sunday after months of speculation and the Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts were quick to pay tribute to the record-breaking quarterback.
The five-time NFL MVP is virtually assured of induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame upon eligibility in 2021.
Manning, 39, spent the past four seasons with the Broncos after 14 with the Colts, winning a Super Bowl with each of the sides, the second of which was in what proved to be his final game last month. He will address the media on Monday, but before then the Broncos and Colts reacted to Sunday's news with high praise.
"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 vice president John Elway said on the team's website.
"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."
The Colts immediately responded via Twitter with a #ThankYouPeyton tribute.
"The word GOAT (greatest of all time) got popular real soon," Cardinals coach Bruce Arians, Manning's first quarterback coach in the NFL, told the Indianapolis Star. "To me, he is ... I think he's arguably the best that's ever played."
Manning's last NFL head coach, Broncos coach Gary Kubiak said it was Manning's work ethic that stood out.
"It was a blessing to coach Peyton Manning," Kubiak said. "Nobody worked harder at the game and nobody prepared harder than Peyton.
"His preparation was the best I've ever seen with how he went about his business. There was nothing like his work habits. Each and every week, he did everything he could to get ready to play not only against the defense but even against the coordinator.
"Being with him this season, going through what we went through and accomplishing what we accomplished--that was special. 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."