It didn’t take long for Patriots quarterback Tom Brady to publicly congratulate Peyton Manning on his career after news broke that the 18-year veteran is headed for retirement.
Brady, who holds an 11-6 all-time record in head-to-head matchups against Manning, congratulated his rival on “an incredible career” in a Facebook post Sunday.
“You changed the game forever and made everyone around you better,” Brady wrote.
Congratulations Peyton, on an incredible career. You changed the game forever and made everyone around you better. It's been an honor.Posted by Tom Brady on Sunday, March 6, 2016
Brady and Manning were fierce rivals on the field but friendly and complimentary of each other off the field.
“There’s been a lot of different players that have played in all 16 of those games, but as the quarterback it’s been a great honor and privilege to have competed against him that many times over the course of the past 16, 17 years when he and I have been in the league together,” Manning said in January before facing the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game. “All I can say about Tom Brady is that he plays the position the way it’s supposed to be played.”
The Patriots also offered a congratulatory goodbye for Manning.
Congratulations on a remarkable career. It's been an honor. #ThankYouPeyton pic.twitter.com/5gIbvknPP9— New England Patriots (@Patriots) March 6, 2016
■ Ben Volin: Peyton Manning walks away with an even more complicated legacy
■ Volin: Tom Brady and Peyton Manning bring out the best in each other
■ Christopher L. Gasper: If this is it, Manning went out a winner
■ Gasper: Brady and Manning are bonded by history
Follow Rachel G. Bowers on Twitter @RachelGBowers.