Peyton Manning was visibly emotional as he said goodbye to the game after 18 seasons with the NFL.
After leading the Denver Broncos to victory against the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 this year, the 39-year-old quarterback announced his retirement during a press conference on Monday afternoon. "Grateful is the word that comes to mind," a tearful Manning said.
"Our team, our organization and our community are all better because of Peyton Manning," Broncos President and CEO, Joe Ellis, said in a statementposted to the team's website. "He raised the performance of those around him and raised the level of excellence here at the Broncos."
Manning is certainly leaving the NFL on top. Not only is he a Super Bowl champion, but he is the league's all-time record holder in career touchdown passes (539), and is also the all-time record holder in passing yards (71,940).
"Being with him this season, going through what we went through and accomplishing what we accomplished -- that was special," Broncos head coach, Gary Kubiak, said. "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."
Upon hearing that Manning would be announcing his retirement, New England Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady, posted a pic of himself and Manning after a big game. "Congratulations Peyton, on an incredible career," Brady shared on Facebook. "You changed the game forever and made everyone around you better. It's been an honor."
Former Broncos star, John Elway, also tweeted: "Peyton was everything we thought he was and even more - for our team and community. What an AMAZING career and we're thankful he was a Bronco!!"
Peyton was everything we thought he was and even more - for our team & community. What an AMAZING career & we're thankful he was a Bronco!!— John Elway (@johnelway) March 6, 2016