Without a doubt, Peyton Manning is one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever don an NFL uniform. Some wondered which uniform would be his last.
Now we know.
According to Indianapolis' WRTV's Dave Furst, Manning "thought hard" and "gave serious consideration" to signing a one-day contract with the Indianapolis Colts ahead of his retirement ceremony in Indianapolis on Friday. He ultimately decided not to. Manning will forego such ceremonies and finish his career a member of the Denver Broncos.
While it's true that this decision doesn't mean as much as it does in other sports like baseball, where you're inducted into the Hall of Fame as a member of a specific team (in the NFL, Manning will be inducted as a member of the Broncos and Colts), it still matters. It still matters to Manning - has he ever "thought hard" or given "serious consideration" to anything that didn't? And it matters to the fans that have a bond with Manning after his four years in Denver.
Count me among them. It adds legitimacy to his stay in Denver for me, confirming that he wasn't just collecting a paycheck and padding his Hall of Fame resume while in Mile High Country. He was a Bronco. He bled orange and blue. We bled with him. It adds an extra feeling of gratitude for me when I see my two Manning jerseys hanging in the closet.
His decision reflects his words from a few weeks ago at his Broncos retirement press conference.
"Grateful is the word that comes to my mind when thinking of the Denver Broncos," Manning said. "To all of my Denver teammates, thank you for what you've done for this old quarterback. And of course my gratitude to the Broncos fans everywhere."
"I couldn't have made a better decision coming out to play these last four years in Denver."