ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — It was simply a matter of time.
Peyton Manning, a first-ballot Hall of Famer and one of the greatest quarterbacks in both team and NFL history, has been elected to the Denver Broncos' Ring of Fame.
Manning will be inducted this fall into the team's most exclusive fraternity.
"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. "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 is just the second Bronco to be elected to the Ring of Fame and Pro Football Hall of Fame in the same season, joining cornerback Champ Bailey in that elite grouping. Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway had the five-year waiting period waived, which meant he was already in the team's Ring of Fame when he became a first-ballot Hall of Famer in 2004.
Manning, who is the lone member of the Broncos' Class of 2021, will be the fifth quarterback in the Ring of Fame. He joins Elway, Frank Tripucka, Charley Johnson and Craig Morton at the quarterback spot.
Already destined for pro football immortality when he arrived in Denver in 2012, Manning posted a Hall of Fame-worthy career in just four seasons with the Broncos.
He was named the 2012 Comeback Player of the Year, the 2013 Most Valuable Player, a two-time first-team All-Pro and a three-time Pro Bowler. Manning set single-season passing records in 2013 that still stand, as he threw for 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns as he led the Broncos to a Super Bowl XLVIII appearance.
In 2015, Manning capped his career with a second Super Bowl appearance with the Broncos that resulted in Denver's third Lombardi Trophy. On the path to Super Bowl 50, Manning earned head-to-head wins against Ben Roethlisberger, Tom Brady and Cam Newton. Manning is one of just two quarterbacks in NFL history to win the Super Bowl with two different teams.
"I'm incredibly honored to be named to the Broncos Ring of Fame," Manning said in a statement. "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've 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."
In his four seasons in the orange and blue, Manning threw for 140 touchdowns and 17,112 yards. He ranks second in team history in passing yards, completions and touchdown passes, while his completion percentage is the best in franchise history.
Manning was also one of 10 players named to the NFL 100 team, which was created to celebrate the best players in league history.
Manning will be honored with an eight-foot pillar in Ring of Fame Plaza at Empower Field at Mile High, and his name will also be unveiled on the facade that circles the interior of the stadium. The team will honor Manning during its Week 8 game against the Washington Football Team on Oct. 31.