Patriots fans sharing words of respect for Peyton Manning

Tom Brady said it was an honor to have played against him

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning waves to spectators following the AFC Championship game between the Denver Broncos and the New England Patriots, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016, in Denver. The Broncos defeated the Patriots 20-18 to advance to the Super Bowl. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Peyton Manning won’t be returning to the field next football season. An official announcement of Manning’s retirement is expected at 1:00 Monday afternoon.

The Denver Broncos quarterback had hinted to his retirement at the AFC Championship game, when he was heard telling Patriots coach Bill Belichick that the game could have been his “last rodeo.” But his final act was two weeks later in Super Bowl 50, where the Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers.

After 18 seasons in the NFL, Manning is the only quarterback to lead two different teams to a Super Bowl victory, once with the Indianapolis Colts, and this year for the Broncos.

Manning will turn 40 next month. He is a five-time MVP who is also the league’s all-time leading passer.

Patriots fans told 22News that while Manning was always one of the biggest threats against New England’s Tom Brady, they always respected him.

“I like the way he’s going out. He’s going out on top and I think he played his career with class and he was a good player and a good matchup for the Patriots, and I think he made Tom Brady that much better,” Matt Joseph of Northampton said.

Just like in the last AFC Championship, Patriots fans always anticipated a good game when Manning played Brady. On Sunday, Tom Brady wrote a message on Facebook congratulating Peyton Manning on his career. Brady said it was an honor to play against him, and that Manning changed the game forever.

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