Eli Manning’s Biggest Fan Was His Big Brother Peyton

The 2020 NFL season will be the first without a Manning under center since 1997

Eli Manning's Biggest Fan Was His Brother Peyton
Ex-quarterbacks Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos and Eli Manning of the New York Giants. (Jim McIsaac/Getty)
By Evan Bleier / January 24, 2020 9:33 am

With his younger brother announcing his retirement from the NFL today after playing 16 seasons with the New York Giants, Peyton Manning dished out some brotherly love in an interview with Broncos.com.

The younger Manning told the site that Eli Manning —who finished his NFL career exactly at .500 with a record of 117-117 but will likely make the Hall of Fame anyhow — was his favorite quarterback to watch behind only their father Archie Manning and Dan Marino.

“I’m happy for Eli, because I know he’s at peace and he put a lot of time and thought into this decision,” Manning said. “But I am sad, because I won’t get to see him play anymore. And after my dad and Dan Marino, Eli really was my favorite player. So I have to find a new one. But for really 19 years going back to his three years at Ole Miss, 16 years in the NFL, I have enjoyed watching him play, watching him compete, watching him grow into a man. It’s been a heck of a run.”

When the 2020 season begins with both brothers doing something other than playing football, it will be the first time the NFL has not had a Manning on an active roster since 1997.

Between them, the Manning brothers earned more than $500 million in salary during their NFL careers, with Eli banking the highest amount in NFL history with $252 million in earnings followed by his older brother with around $249 million.

Both of those numbers are likely to be surpassed this offseason when Drew Brees and Tom Brady — No. 3 and No. 4 on the all-time earnings list with $244 million and $235 million, respectively — sign deals in March. Who they will sign with remains a mystery.

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