Peyton Manning says Drew Brees 'deserves' to usurp him as the NFL's all time leading passer

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Peyton Manning reigns supreme atop a flurry of the NFL's all time passing statistics. 

The future Hall of Fame quarterback is undoubtedly one of the greatest players to step onto the field and his place amongst the best in history is firmly cemented. 

The former Colts and Broncos star's 71,940 passing yards and 539 passing TD's are both all time leading marks, but they could both fall this coming season. 

That's because Saints signal caller Drew Brees is hot on the tail of Manning's yardage record, trailing by just 1495 yards. 

Brees should easily pass that number around the half way stage of the season, and along with Tom Brady, he may have an outside chance to catch up to the two-time Super Bowl champion's career touchdown mark too. 

Brees and Brady are tied in fourth place with 488 career touchdown passes, only behind Manning (539) and Brett Favre (508). Both guys would need to throw for 52 TD's or more in 2018 to break the record, which is a considerably steep task given that Manning is the only man to post a single season with more than 50. 

The five-time MVP tossed a mammoth 55 scoring passes in 2013 with the Broncos, whilst Brady's best mark of 50 came back in 2007 and Brees' was 46 in 2011. 

The Saints man probably has the better shot of usurping his career best mark this coming season given the plethora of offensive weapons he's currently blessed with, but even surrounded by Pro Bowlers in Sean Payton's creative offense that record may have to wait until 2019 to fall. 

For what it's worth though, Manning doesn't seem to mind that his records are on the verge of falling to his closest rivals. 

In fact, he's accepted the fact that they will and was full of praise for the man that's likely to pass him first. 

"I don't think it's a matter of if (Brees breaks his record), it's just a matter of when," the 14-time Pro Bowler said at the annual Manning passing academy Friday. 

"He deserves it. He's been a great player for a long time."

"Obviously, he's just been the ultimate pro, taking care of himself, being in great shape," Manning said of 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, what he and Sean (Payton) have been able to do together for years now."

Though the yardage record is a huge milestone, Manning said his  touchdown record probably holds more significance. 

"Touchdowns probably has a little bit more meaning for a quarterback, because it means you got six points and you're doing something good for your team," he said. "Yards, as you all know, can be a little bit misleading because it doesn't necessarily mean winning games."

Brees is likely to pass his great rival in both categories, and it will be a poignant moment when the time does come. 

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