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Russell Wilson thanks Peyton Manning

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Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson delivers a well-written thank you to Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning.

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

They might have been foes on the field, but above all things, Peyton Manning was an inspiration and mentor for Russell Wilson.

Wilson delivered a heart-felt letter in The Players' Tribute regarding how much the Hall of Fame bound quarterback meant to him. He succinctly chronicled the milestones of Manning's historic career, but placed an emphasis on the things he learned while attending Manning's famous quarterback camps years ago.

It was short and sweet, but most of all it was a beautiful reminder to fans everywhere about the significant impact Manning has had on the game of football outside of record-setting numbers and memorable game performances.

Without question, Manning has been an ambassador for not just the sport, but the quarterback position.  He has played an integral role in its evolution over almost two decades, and at every turn, represented himself with passion, dignity and honor.

Truly, the reach of Manning's influence goes beyond the green grass of the gridiron. It delves straight into the hearts and minds of coaches and he played with, competed against and to fans that rooted him on for over decades.

The doors may soon be closing on Manning's NFL career, but the lessons he has taught so many will continue to live on long after his cleats, helmet and pads are shelved forever.

I second the words of Wilson — thank you Peyton Manning.