Football greats say goodbye to Manning

Posted at 9:30 AM, Mar 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-07 18:40:11-05

With rumors of a looming retirement circling Peyton Manning ahead of his Super Bowl 50 win, many fans felt it was only a matter of time before the five-time league MVP formally announced his retirement.

Now, ESPN is reporting that Manning will officially announce his retirement on Monday.

ESPN's Chris Mortensen was the first to break the news.

The week of the Super Bowl, reports surfaced which claimed Manning told "family friends" that he planned to retire at the season's end.

In the 2015 season, Manning became the NFL's first player to ever reach 200 career wins. He also holds the league's record for passing yards (71,940) and touchdown passes thrown (539). He tied Brett Farve's record for quarterback wins at 186.

But the season was also a controversial one for Manning.

In December, Al Jezeera released a documentary titled "The Dark Side: The Secrets of Sports Dopers" and corresponding story online. The documentary named Manning as one of said "dopers," and claimed Manning's wife, Ashley, was shipped human growth hormone. The documentary also noted Manning's past neck and spinal injuries and his full recovery -- and successful rebound -- from both.

Manning swiftly denied the allegations, calling them "Bulls---", and said the man who tipped off reporters, Charlie Sly, is "sick" for "bringing Ashley into this."

After the Broncos' Super Bowl win, a story from Manning's past resurfaced: Manning was one several athletes at the University of Tennessee named in a Title IX lawsuit that claims male athletes created a "hostile sexual environment" through "a policy of indifference toward assaults by student-athletes."

The suit claimed Manning put his genitals on the face of former athletic trainer Dr. Jamie Naughright in the Volunteers locker room in 1996. Manning denied the claims and said he was just mooning teammate Malcolm Saxon.

Naughright settled an initial suit against Manning in 1997 with the agreement that she leave the university. Sports Illustrated reported that Naughright also settled with the school for $300,000 and athletic memorabilia, including a bowl game watch and championship ring.

In 2002, Manning sued Naighright for defamation. She sued him again in 2005 and he countersued shortly after, Sports Illustrated reports.

In February, a group of women, Naughright included, filed a federal lawsuit against Manning and other former Tennessee athletes.

For better or worse, Manning said the 2015 season was his "most unique" season of his career.

Manning, 39, played 18 seasons in the NFL. He's the first QB in NFL history to win Super Bowls on two different teams.

A New Orleans native, Manning comes from a family of football royalty: Dad Archie Manning played 13 seasons in the league and younger brother Eli currently plays quarterback for the New York Giants.

Eli, 35, has won two Super Bowls with the Giants; Peyton's Super Bowl 50 win tied the family Super Bowl record, and Eli's reaction to the win captured from the window of the family box all but blew up the Internet. 


The two brothers have played each other only three times in their professional careers.

Manning was the first pick for the Indianapolis Colts in the 1998 NFL draft. The young franchise bloomed with the young franchise quarterback; Indianapolis built Lucas Oil Stadium and hosted a Super Bowl while Manning was with the team.

He stayed in Indianapolis until 2012 when he became a free agent. His farewell press conference to the Colts and the City of Indianapolis was highly emotional.

Manning was picked up by the Denver Broncos in 2012. 

In his 18 seasons between the two teams, he made it to the playoffs 15 times. He played in four Super Bowls -- under four different head coaches. He was a 14-time Pro Bowl selection and a seven-time first-team All-Pro.

Sports analysts and football greats say Manning is a lock for first ballot selection to the Hall of Fame.



All players must adhere to a 5-year waiting period before they can be considered for the Hall.