INDIANAPOLIS — Peyton Manning cemented his status as an NFL legend long ago.
But now, Manning can finally add "Hall of Famer" to his long, long list of accolades.
Manning, the greatest quarterback in Indianapolis Colts franchise history, and one of the greatest signal callers the game has ever seen, tonight was selected for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as part of its Class of 2021.
Manning, a first-ballot Hall of Fame selection, is set to be formally enshrined in Canton on Aug. 8. It'll be quite the weekend for Colts fans, as legendary running back Edgerrin James will also be enshrined as part of the Hall of Fame's Class of 2020 on Aug. 7.
"As one of the best to ever play, Peyton is rightfully credited for revolutionizing and mastering the quarterback position, the most important position in all of sports," Colts owner Jim Irsay said. "There have been many greats to play the game, but few had the absolute command of the field as Peyton did. Simply put, he changed the way quarterbacks play the game, and every quarterback since has learned from watching him.
"But as we all know Peyton is bigger than just football. His accomplishments off the field are well known and too numerous to list. Peyton gave back to our community just as passionately as he played on the field, and whenever the community called on him, he answered. For that we will be grateful always," Irsay continued. "Our franchise, our city and state, and our fans were forever changed by Peyton Manning, and we congratulate him for receiving this highest honor in pro football."
The No. 1-overall pick by the Colts in the 1998 NFL Draft out of Tennessee, Manning played for 18 seasons for the Colts (1998 to 2011) and the Denver Broncos (2012-15), winning two Super Bowl titles, including Super Bowl XLI with the Colts during the 2006 season.
By the time Manning retired from the NFL following the 2015 season, he had broken just about every major record by a quarterback in NFL history, including career passing touchdowns (539), career passing yards (71,940), single-season passing touchdowns (55), single-season passing yards (5,477), total wins (201, including playoffs), game-winning drives (56), comeback wins (45), games with four-plus touchdown passes (35), 4,000-plus-yard passing seasons (14), consecutive seasons with at least 25 passing touchdowns (13) and Associated Press NFL Most Valuable Player awards (5; 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2013).
Manning's off-the-field impact was just as important as his accomplishments on the field while wearing the Horseshoe, however.
In 1999, Manning and his wife, Ashley, established their PeyBack Foundation to "promote the future success of disadvantaged youth by assisting programs that provide leadership and growth opportunities for children at risk." Since that time, the foundation has provided more than $15 million in grants and programs.
In Indianapolis, Manning became a regular at St. Vincent's Children Hospital, and in 2007, the facility was renamed the "Peyton Manning Children's Hospital at St. Vincent."
"Peyton, congratulations. Coming into the Hall of Fame is so well deserved. But to me, your Hall of Fame accomplishments off the field even overshadow what you've done on the field," said former Colts head coach Tony Dungy, a 2016 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee. "Thank you for being such a leader for us, thank you for being such a great person in Indianapolis on and off the field. Congratulations and welcome to the Hall."
Manning, whose statue is prominently displayed outside of Lucas Oil Stadium, had his No. 18 retired by the Colts in 2017, when he was inducted into the team's Ring of Honor. He becomes the second Colts quarterback to be selected for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, joining the great Johnny Unitas.
Manning would go on to become the only quarterback in NFL history to lead multiple teams to the Super Bowl, as he guided the Broncos to the title in the 2015 season. Over his 18-year career with the Colts (1998-2011) and Broncos (2012-15), Manning registered the second-most wins by a starting quarterback (200 victories in regular season and playoffs) all-time and his 186 regular season wins are tied for the second-most by a starting quarterback in league history. Manning helped lead his team to the playoffs 15 times and is one of three quarterbacks to defeat all 32 NFL teams.
For those interested in Official Ticket Packages for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2020 (Edgerrin James) and Class of 2021 (Peyton Manning) enshrinement festivities, click here.
See the best images of Peyton Manning during his career with the Indianapolis Colts as he is named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2021.