Peyton Manning is coming home to the Colts. The Indianapolis Colts today announced that they will honor Peyton Manning for his contributions to the franchise in light of his recent retirement. The team will hold a press conference tomorrow (on March 18) at noon at the Colts' complex with owner Jim Irsay and Peyton Manning to honor his career with the Colts and all of his contributions to the franchise.
Manning is unquestionably the greatest player to play for the Indianapolis Colts, as he established himself as one of the best in league history during his record-breaking 14-year run with the Colts. After being drafted by the Colts first overall in the 1998 NFL Draft, Manning went on to start 208 games for the team, throwing for 54,828 yards and 399 touchdowns and setting nearly every significant franchise passing record. He threw for more than 4,000 yards in eleven different seasons with the team and topped 25 touchdown passes in every year, besides the 2011 season in which he missed every game. While wearing a Colts uniform, Manning won an NFL record four MVP awards, made eleven Pro Bowls, and was a five-time first-team All-Pro. The Colts made eleven playoff appearances and two Super Bowl berths during the Manning era, winning Super Bowl XLI.
Though Manning spent the final four years of his playing career with the Denver Broncos and accomplished some incredible things (including another Super Bowl title), it's clear that his time with the Colts still is special to him. During his retirement press conference, Manning got choked up while talking about everything the Colts accomplished during his tenure there.
"When I was drafted by the Colts, Indianapolis was a basketball and a car racing town," Manning said. "But it didn't take long for the Colts to convert the city and state of Indiana into football evangelists."
Later, he marveled about all of the achievements. "We went on to do some phenomenal things," Manning said, "like winning at least 12 games seven years in a row, and of course winning Super Bowl 41. And I was truly honored and proud to be a part of it."
It was long expected that the Colts would honor Manning in some way, so this news isn't surprising. It's still awesome to hear, however, as Peyton Manning is coming back to Indianapolis and the Colts organization to celebrate his absolutely incredible career with the team he spent the bulk of it with.