Peyton Manning says goodbye to NFL playing days

Mon Mar 7, 2016 7:06pm EST
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By Larry Fine

(Reuters) - Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning bid an emotional farewell to the National Football League on Monday after an 18-year career that established him as one of the game's greatest quarterbacks.

"Today I retire from the game of pro football," Manning, who capped his brilliant career by helping Denver win the Super Bowl last month, told a packed news conference in Denver. "It was the right time."

Manning, who battled back from a foot injury that cost him six games last season, said he would surely miss the game.

"When someone thoroughly exhausts an experience they can't help but revere it. I love the game," he said. "So you don't have to wonder if I'll miss it. Absolutely. Absolutely, I will."

Manning, who turns 40 later this month, retires as the NFL's all-time leader in passing touchdowns and yards and as the only five-time winner of the league's Most Valuable Player award.

The cerebral signal-caller left the football stage on a high-point, becoming the oldest quarterback to win a Super Bowl and first to win with two different teams following the NFL crown he won with the 2006 Indianapolis Colts.

Manning, who became the face of the NFL as a glamour quarterback and ubiquitous TV pitchman, has been hailed for his meticulous preparation and ability to find holes in opposing defenses as he surveys them at the line of scrimmage.

Recently, however, he has come under fire off the field.   Continued...

Mar 7, 2016; Englewood, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning speaks during his retirement announcement press conference at the UCHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports