Saints quarterback Drew Brees is expected to break Peyton Manning’s record for most career passing yards this season.
Manning told reporters this week he thinks Brees deserves the all-time mark.
“I don’t think it’s a matter of if (Brees breaks the record), it’s just a matter of when,” Manning said (via NOLA.com). “He’s been a great player for a long time.”
Manning retired in March 2016 after accumulating 71,940 passing yards over 18 seasons with the Colts and Broncos.
Brees, who is set to enter his 18th year in the NFL, is currently less than 1,500 yards away from Manning’s record.
“Obviously, he’s just been the ultimate pro, taking care of himself, being in great shape,” Manning said about Brees. “Credit to him for playing as long as he has at such a high level … He’s just been a great model of consistency,”
Manning also holds the NFL record for career touchdown passes with 539. Brees trails that mark by 51.
“Touchdowns probably have a little bit more meaning for a quarterback, because it means you got six points and you’re doing something good for your team,” Manning said. “Yards, as you all know, can be a little bit misleading because it doesn’t necessarily mean winning games.”
But, Manning said he never played to set individual records.
“I know Drew feels the same way,” Manning said. “Drew has been the ultimate team player. It’s all about helping your team win. I know when he breaks any of these records it’s not going to mean as much to him if the Saints don’t win the game that day.”
The Saints finished 2017 with an 11-5 record and won the NFC South. After a victory over the Panthers in the wild-card round, they fell to the Vikings and were eliminated from the playoffs.