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Tom Brady on Peyton Manning: ‘Imagine what he must feel like with all that pressure off’

Brady imagines the relief of retirement.

Peyton Manning and Tom Brady speak after the AFC Championship game in Jan. 2016. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Peyton Manning’s retirement is hitting Tom Brady on a personal level.

With Brady signing an extension through the 2019 season, his retirement still seems distant. But in a article published on MMQB.com on Monday, Brady said he can imagine the relief Manning is likely feeling.

“It’s what I said to my wife after I found out,’’ Brady told MMQB.com. “The way he played football, and the way he was consumed by football, all the mental energy he had to use, and I mean every day of the year you’re thinking about it—imagine what he must feel like with all that pressure off. Twelve months a year, the time commitment, the mental commitment, I can tell you it never leaves you. You are constantly trying to be better, constantly striving to learn more. Think about how long he’s been a great quarterback. For Peyton, the pressure’s probably off for the first time in his life. Imagine how that feels.’’

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But Manning had an added pressure Brady did not have: Manning was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft. Brady was selected 199th in the 2000 NFL Draft.

“But what he’s accomplished through all these years, what makes it so admirable, is the pressure he’s had on him his whole life,’’ Brady told MMQB.com. “He was the highest-rated recruit in high school. He was the biggest quarterback in college football. He was the first pick in the draft. Who has lived up to the expectations year after year after year as well as Peyton? He’s done it so gracefully, so admirably. He set the standard for how to play the quarterback position.’’

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