After the Denver Broncos won Super Bowl 50, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson wrote a letter to Peyton Manning, one quarterback to another, thanking Manning for being an inspiration, "If this is it," for his career.
On Monday, it became official that this was indeed it for Manning, who announced his retirement in an emotional press conference, marking the end of a record-setting career that inspired Wilson and so many others over the span of nearly two decades.
"When I look back on my NFL career, I'll know without a doubt that I gave everything I had to help my teams walk away with a win," Manning said in his retirement press conference Monday. "There were other players who were more talented, but there was no one that could out-prepare me and because of that I have no regrets."
Wilson, who in 10th grade attended one of Manning's camps, then years later joined him in the NFL record books by throwing 26 touchdown passes as a rookie, wrote of Manning, "You inspired me to work hard. To be disciplined. To be respectful. To take notes. You inspired me to love the process. To love the sweat. To love the tears. But most of all …You inspired me to love the game. Thanks, Peyton. If this is it, Thanks."
Manning faced the Seahawks six times in his career, postseason included, playing the Seahawks four times with Indianapolis, then twice while with Denver. The Seahawks came out on top against Manning's teams four times, including a 43-8 victory in Super Bowl XLVIII, but Manning did his share of damage against Seattle, throwing seven touchdowns while eclipsing 300 yards three times in those six games.