Elway: Manning can’t really seal legacy Sunday

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JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) — John Elway says Peyton Manning cannot stamp himself as the greatest quarterback in NFL history even if he wins the Super Bowl on Sunday.

Elway told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he’s come to realize the argument over who’s the best QB ever is a lot like beauty: It’s in the eye of the beholder.

“I don’t think there’s ever going to be a `very best.’ I think there’s always going to be a conversation,” said Elway, the Broncos’ Hall of Fame quarterback-turned-executive vice president who lured Manning to Denver after his release from Indianapolis two years ago.

Manning has the chance to become the first starting quarterback to lead two franchises to Super Bowl titles when the Broncos play the Seahawks at MetLife Stadium this weekend.

When Manning signed with the Broncos on March 20, 2012, Elway declared, “My goal is to make Peyton Manning the best quarterback that’s ever played the game.”

But at the team hotel on the Hudson River on Wednesday morning, Elway said he now realizes that question will never truly be answered “even though when he walks away Peyton may well have broken every single record.”

“So, you’re going to always have your detractors, but he may have a large percentage of `who’s the best,’ you know what I mean?” Elway said. “Yeah, all he can do is he can continue to cement his legacy, especially if he continues to keep going like the year he had this year. And I’m going to try to make sure he has all the weapons to be able to do that.”

Manning said he still enjoys the game and all that goes into preparing his 37-year-old body and his surgically repaired neck for the rigors of a season, and plans to play in 2014 and beyond if he can.

Manning is the NFL’s only four-time MVP and is expected to capture his fifth award Saturday night after setting records by throwing for 55 touchdowns and 5,447 yards while directing the highest-scoring team in the league’s 93-year history.

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Follow AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton

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