Peyton Manning is going out on a high note.
After much speculation, the Denver Broncos announced on Sunday that its quarterback is retiring after his 18 seasons of professional football and its recent Super Bowl 50 win over the Carolina Panthers.
“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 executive vice president of football operations and general manager John Elway said in a statement. “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.”
“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,” added NFL commissioner Roger Goodell 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.”
The five-time NFL MVP and two-time Super Bowl winner was expected to announce his retirement on Monday. The Broncos will hold a news conference on Monday at 1 p.m. ET to discuss Manning’s exit.
According to ESPN, Manning called the Broncos on Saturday night to inform the team of his decision. The news conference had been scheduled previously, but the team did not know before Saturday what Manning’s decision would be.
Manning played 14 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts before heading to the Broncos as a free agent in 2012. His final three seasons included two trips to the Super Bowl for the Broncos.
Retirement rumors swirled when NFL Films cameras caught Manning, after the Broncos’ AFC Championship Game victory in January, telling New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick: “This might be my last rodeo. So it sure has been a pleasure.”
The quarterback was expected to touch on his exit from football after the Super Bowl 50 victory — Manning, however, stayed mum at the time.
Manning set several records during his time in the NFL, including passing touchdowns with 539 and passing yards with 71,940. He ties with Brett Favre in quarterback wins, both with 186.