Peyton Manning says Brandon Stokley is the "best teammate" he's ever had, paying tribute to the retiring Baltimore Ravens star, reports NFL.com.
The 37-year-old wide receiver was placed on injured reserve two weeks ago, but has been forced to call it a day after failing to recover from concussion.
Manning played alongside Stokley when they were both with the Indianapolis Colts, and based on that partnership alone, the diminutive slot receiver earned praise from the quarterback.
"He's a guy you want on your team in your corner," said the Denver Broncos star. "Fifteen years as a slot receiver in the NFL, going across the middle, taking hits, it's almost unheard of."
Stokley has featured in playoff games for a total of four different organizations - the Ravens, Colts, Seattle Seahawks and Manning's current team, the Broncos.
He memorably scored the first touchdown of Super Bowl XXXV for the Ravens, and his best season came in 2004, when at Indianapolis he recorded 1,077-yards and 10-touchdowns.
Injuries meant Stokley missed most of the 2011 campaign, but made an impressive return with Denver the season after, making 45 catches.
Asked if he holds any regrets, the veteran said that he's glad he stayed on for one more year.
"If in 30 years I'm feeling fine and I would have stopped playing football four or five years ago it would have been, 'Why did I stop?' You can't predict the future.
"So I was all in with football until I knew it was time for me to stop playing," Stokley said.