Salute and respect. Ahead of Peyton Manning‘s retirement announcement on Monday, his longtime rival Tom Brady reacted to the impending news on Sunday, March 6, congratulating his fellow Super Bowl–winning peer on his illustrious 18 years in the NFL.
“Congratulations Peyton, on an incredible career,” Brady, 38, wrote on Facebook, alongside a pic of himself shaking hands with Manning, 39, at the AFC Championship game this past January. The photo of the pair was taken after their 17th and (sob!) final game against each other.
Manning’s Denver Broncos beat the New England Patriots during that 2016 playoff match. The Broncos eventually went on to beat the Carolina Panthers at Super Bowl 50 last month.
“You changed the game forever and made everyone around you better,” Brady concluded on Facebook. “It’s been an honor.”
The praises from Gisele Bündchen‘s husband didn’t stop there. On Monday, he spoke to MMQB’s Peter King about Manning’s retirement announcement slated for that afternoon.
“What just happened, winning the Super Bowl in his last game, is a perfect way to end a career,” Brady told King. “But what he’s accomplished through all these years, what makes it so admirable, is the pressure he’s had on him his whole life. He was the highest-rated recruit in high school. He was the biggest quarterback in college football. He was the first pick in the draft. Who has lived up to the expectations year after year after year as well as Peyton? He’s done it so gracefully, so admirably. He set the standard for how to play the quarterback position.”
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