Peyton Manning Says Eli’s Retirement From NFL Will Be Bittersweet

Almost four years ago, Peyton Manning called it a career after 18 seasons in the NFL.

Now, it’s his brother Eli’s turn.

The New York Giants quarterback will announce his retirement at a press conference Friday, ending his 16-season career in the NFL. He’s got two Super Bowl rings and two Super Bowl MVPs (all of which came against the New England Patriots) under his belt and wraps things up with a 117-117-0 record in the regular season.

Peyton is proud of the career his brother led.

“I’m happy for Eli, because I know he’s at peace and he put a lot of time and thought into this decision,” Manning told’s Aric DiLalla. “But I am sad, because I won’t get to see him play anymore. And after my dad and Dan Marino, Eli really was my favorite player. So I have to find a new one. But for really 19 years going back to his three years at Ole Miss, 16 years in the NFL, I have enjoyed watching him play, watching him compete, watching him grow into a man. It’s been a heck of a run.”

Peyton always has enjoyed watching his sibling play, especially since retiring in 2016. He’ll miss that now that Eli is hanging up his helmet.

“I really have enjoyed watching him play in person a lot more,” Manning said. “I’ve been averaging about three games a season during the years that I was retired. I certainly got to keep up with his games more. And once again, I wasn’t talking to him every day during the week, but could ask him about the game plan and what the Dolphins are doing on defense. But to go see him play and take my kids down to the locker room and have the chance for them to see their uncle, that was a real thrill. So I’ll miss that. I’ve been doing it for a long time.

“In college, I’d go back and see Eli play one game a year in high school. When I was in the NFL, I’d go see him play one game a year in college. And just to see this growth and development each year — he was just a year older, a year stronger, a year more mature — so I’ve been seeing him play a long time. I will definitely miss that, but I’ll have great memories of the journey.”

And just like that, it’s the end of an era in the NFL.

Thumbnail photo via Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports Images

Source: NESN

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