Ex-Bronco Tripucka says Manning can wear familiar No. 18

Former Broncos quarterback Frank Tripucka has agreed to allow Peyton Manning to don his familiar No. 18 when he joins Denver next season, The Denver Post reported Tuesday.

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Tripucka and Manning had a conversation Tuesday about the uniform number, which was retired by the Broncos after Tripucka's career ended in 1963, The Post reported.

"It's perfectly OK for him to go ahead and use it," Tripucka told the newspaper last week. "I would be honored to have him wear it."

Tripucka added: "It's been retired for 50 years. That's long enough."

Tripucka, 84, had previously told The Associated Press that Manning could have the number if he chose the Broncos.

Tripucka was the first quarterback to ever play for the Broncos. He threw for a league-leading 3,038 yards in the franchise's first season in 1960. Only two other numbers (No. 7, worn by John Elway, and No. 44, worn by Floyd Little) have been retired by the Broncos.

Manning has worn No. 18 throughout his entire 14-year career.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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