After 18 NFL seasons, Peyton Manning has announced his retirement.
Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning will announce his retirement from the NFL on Monday, according to a report from ESPN's Chris Mortensen. The Broncos later confirmed that Manning has informed the team of his decision to retire.
Manning and the Broncos won the Super Bowl this season, the second title of his career, after beating the Carolina Panthers 24-10 last month. Manning became the oldest quarterback to win the Super Bowl and the first to win the Super Bowl with two teams.
The No. 1 pick in the 1998 NFL draft out of Tennessee, Manning won four MVP awards with the Indianapolis Colts and led them to a Super Bowl victory in 2006. Before leaving for Denver in 2011, he had cemented himself as the Colts’ all-time leader in career wins, passing touchdowns and passing yards.
Despite a neck injury that kept him out for the duration of the 2011 season, the Broncos signed Manning to a five-year, $96 million deal in 2012. In his first season in Denver, he was awarded the AP NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award. One season later, he won his fifth MVP award after setting NFL records with 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns. The Broncos reached the Super Bowl that year but were blown out by the Seattle Seahawks in the game.
Manning retires as the NFL’s all-time leader in passing touchdowns and passing yards.
Manning's final season was unlike any other in his career. He struggled on the field, battled injuries and lost his starting job. But in the final week of the regular season, Manning replaced starter Brock Osweiler in the third quarter and regained his starting spot heading into the postseason.
In December, Manning faced allegations of HGH use after an Al Jazeera report claimed Manning’s wife had received shipments of the drug from an Indianapolis anti-aging clinic. Manning has denied the claims, calling them a "total fabrication." Charles Sly, a former pharmacy intern in Indiana who unknowingly spoke to Al Jazeera investigators, has since recanted his claims about Manning. The NFL has said it is investigating the allegations.
After the Super Bowl, allegations of sexual misconduct dating to Manning's time at Tennessee re-emerged. In a lawsuit, Manning was alleged to have “forcefully maneuvered his naked testicles and rectum directly” onto the face of a female athletic trainer. He denied the claims of assault, saying he had "mooned" a teammate during the incident and never made contact with the trainer. SI.com legal analyst Michael McCann broke down the allegations last month, and a recent story from The MMQB also offered more revelations in the case.
- Kenny Ducey