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Brady on Manning: Pressure is probably finally off him

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As word spread Sunday that Peyton Manning was walking away from the NFL, accolades and praise for the future Hall of Fame quarterback poured in from all corners.

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Patriots coach Bill Belichick went out of his way to praise Manning's "immense contributions" to the game, while Belichick's quarterback -- Tom Brady -- was left to mull the absence of one of his fiercest rivals.

"It's what I said to my wife after I found out," Brady told Peter King of TheMMQB.com. "The way he played football, and the way he was consumed by football, all the mental energy he had to use, and I mean every day of the year you're thinking about it -- imagine what he must feel like with all that pressure off. Twelve months a year, the time commitment, the mental commitment, I can tell you it never leaves you. You are constantly trying to be better, constantly striving to learn more. Think about how long he's been a great quarterback. For Peyton, the pressure's probably off for the first time in his life. Imagine how that feels."

It's as much a look into Brady's own career as an equally celebrated competitor who never stops obsessing over the game. He found his match in Manning, and made it clear Sunday that he'll miss the chance for one more showdown with Peyton.

"That part sucks," Brady said, sounding sad, per King. "That part really sucks. That part will always suck."

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