Call it the Summer of Peyton.
Peyton Manning is headed for Canton and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August, and it isn't the only high honor he's receiving this year. Manning has been elected as the 35th member of the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame, the team announced Wednesday.
"It comes as no surprise that Peyton Manning was unanimously elected as the 35th member of the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame," Broncos president and CEO Joe Ellis said in a statement released by the team. "His four seasons in Denver were marked by record-setting individual success and exceptional leadership that helped the Broncos to multiple Super Bowls and one of the winningest periods in team history.
"When Peyton arrived in 2012, his impact and standard was felt throughout our team, the entire organization and in the community. Coming back from a serious injury -- with a new team in a new city -- to not only win MVP but to have one of the greatest single seasons ever by any player was a remarkable feat.
"Peyton defined greatness as a Bronco. We're thrilled that he will now join the other Broncos legends as our newest Ring of Famer."
Manning, who will be inducted into the Ring of Fame this fall, was a unanimous selection.
Though Manning didn't spend the majority of his career with the Broncos, he made his four years in Denver count, leading the league in passing yards and setting the single-season passing touchdowns record in 2013 before winning a Super Bowl with the Broncos in the 2015 season and riding off into the sunset. Manning's arrival jump-started a Broncos team that was capable everywhere but under center, turning Denver into an instant contender in 2012 after the Broncos had lingered near the 8-8 mark for much of the previous half-decade.
"I'm incredibly honored to be named to the Broncos Ring of Fame," Manning said in a statement released through the team. "Having been on the field when other members of the Ring of Fame have been inducted, you can tell what a special fraternity it is and how excited they are to join such a distinguished group. From Floyd Little to Karl Mecklenburg to Steve Atwater to many others, I've always looked up at the names around the stadium and admired the great players the Broncos have had over the years. I'm very humbled to now join them as a Ring of Famer.
"When I came to Denver back in 2012, it was exactly how I thought it would be—a franchise with a winning tradition and incredible fan support in a great community. There were a lot of unknowns coming off an injury with a new team. Once I got my confidence, we went on a heckuva run and never looked back. That's a credit to the many great teammates and coaches I had during my time with the Broncos. The chemistry with D.T. (Demaryius Thomas), Eric Decker, Wes Welker, Emmanuel Sanders and all those guys on offense was special. Winning the Super Bowl in 2015, we had an all-time defense and a really fun group with Von (Miller), Aqib (Talib), DeMarcus (Ware) and some other outstanding players. It ended up being a great decision to come here not only to play for the Broncos but to be part of this special community. Denver is a destination city. Our family is proud to call Denver our home and live in this community even after football. I'm very appreciative and grateful for my time with the Broncos. It's a tremendous honor to be named to the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame."
Manning led the Broncos to four straight playoff appearances, including two Super Bowl berths and one triumph in the sport's biggest game. He won NFL Comeback Player of the Year in his first season with the Broncos (2012), then went on to earn NFL AP Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year honors in 2013. A member of the NFL's 2000s All-Decade Team, Manning will be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2021, becoming the second Bronco (the other being cornerback Champ Bailey) to be inducted in both the team's Ring of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in the same year.