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Colts will build a statue of Peyton Manning outside of Lucas Oil Stadium

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Colts owner Jim Irsay announced today that the franchise is beginning construction of a statue of Peyton Manning outside of Lucas Oil Stadium.

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay today announced that the franchise will begin work on a statue of former quarterback Peyton Manning outside of Lucas Oil Stadium to honor the legend.  Irsay also announced that the number 18 jersey is officially being retired by the franchise and will never be worn by a Colt again.

Here's a preliminary image of the statue:

It's a great and very well-deserved honor for the greatest player in Colts history, and as Irsay said, the statue will stand for a long, long time and will be a destination spot for fans from all over.

During his 14-year career with the Colts, Manning threw for 54,828 yards and 399 touchdowns in setting nearly every significant franchise passing record - including the quarterback/wide receiver records with Marvin Harrison.  He won four MVP awards as a member of the Colts, made eleven Pro Bowls, was a five-time first-team All-Pro, made eleven playoff appearances, made two Super Bowls, and won Super Bowl XLI.  In eleven different seasons, he threw for 4,000 yards and threw for more than 25 touchdowns in every season in which he played.

As far as Manning's number 18 goes, it is the eighth number retired by the Colts franchise, though it is the first of any player in the Indianapolis era.  The other retired numbers are as follows: Johnny Unitas (19), Buddy Young (22), Lenny Moore (24), Art Donovan (70), Jim Parker (77), Raymond Berry (82), and Gino Marchetti (89).

Without a doubt, Manning is the best player to wear the horseshoe in Indy, and the franchise is honoring him with a statue and by retiring his number - both very well-deserved honors.