NFL: Peyton Manning to announce retirement after 18-year career

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning waves to the crowd after the AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots.
Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning waves to the crowd after the AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots.PHOTO: USA TODAY SPORTS

(REUTERS) - Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning will announce his retirement from the US National Football League at a news conference in Denver on Monday (March 7), bringing an end to a career that will surely land him in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, ESPN and nfl.com reported on Sunday.

The 39-year-old will be going out on top, one month after helping the Broncos to a Super Bowl victory over the Carolina Panthers, the media outlets reported, citing sources close to the quarterback.

The decision comes as the Broncos faced a Wednesday deadline in which Manning would be guaranteed US$19 million (S$26 million) from Denver for the 2016 NFL season if he remained on the team's roster.

One of the most prolific passers in NFL history, Manning revolutionised the quarterback position during an 18-year career that included two Super Bowl titles, five most valuable player awards and a slew of passing records.

Manning came across as a laid back southern boy but on the gridiron he was a clinical, ruthless competitor with an off-the-charts football IQ who changed plays at the line of scrimmage to outsmart opposing defences and torched opponents with a big arm and dead-on accuracy.

He played his final four seasons in Denver but his prime came during the 14 years he spent in Indianapolis where he led the Colts to two Super Bowls berths, winning the big game in the 2006 campaign.