Their careers crossed paths more than once in the AFC. Peyton Manning was the No. 1 overall pick of the Indianapolis Colts in the 1998 NFL Draft. Brady would eventually join him in the conference after the Patriots made the Michigan product a sixth-round pick a couple years later.
What followed was some amazing playoff matchups and a combined eight Super Bowl titles.
In talking about his former on-field rival leaving the Patriots after two decades, Manning had nothing but great things to say.
“I can tell the way Tom is talking how excited he is. Everybody knows how hard a worker Tom is and there’s no doubt he’s going to help create a winning culture there in Tampa that the rest of the players are going to feed off of,” Manning told 104.3 The Fan in Denver.
Bringing the winning culture from New England to Tampa Bay is no small thing for the long-downtrodden Buccaneers. The addition of Rob Gronkowski in a blockbuster trade earlier this week only adds to that belief.
There’s a backdrop here that includes the thought process that Brady’s success in New England was directly tied to Bill Belichick. Though, some former Patriots players have recently pushed back against this idea.
As it relates to Manning, his on-field rivalry with Brady has not hindered the mutual respect they share for one another. These comments are the latest example of that.