When he announced he was announcing the release of Peyton Manning on Wednesday, Colts owner Jim Irsay said no one else will wear No. 18 for the Colts.
Thus, the Colts are the third team in the NFL to retire that number. The other two you ask?
Denver and Kansas City. Yep, the two teams in the AFC West that are in the hunt for Manning do not have his number available.
In Denver, the number belongs to Frank Tripucka. He played quarterback for the team from 1960-63 and the team’s ownership in that era honored him. In Kansas City, the number belongs to defensive back Emmitt Thomas. It was retired four years ago. Thomas is on the Chiefs’ coaching staff.
There has been talk that Manning could wear No. 16 on his next NFL uniform. He wore that number in college. It would be available in Denver (no, the Broncos didn’t retire Jake Plummer’s digits). No. 16 wouldn’t work in Kansas City. Hall of Fame quarterback Len Dawson wore the number and that number is retired, too.
Of course, that didn’t get in Joe Montana’s way in Kansas City. He wore No. 16 in San Francisco and he wore No. 19 in Kansas City. Like Manning, Montana’s college number (3) was also retired in Kansas City. It belongs to kicker Jan Stenerud. However, Montana’s No. 19 is still up for grabs in Kansas City, so perhaps Manning would follow in Montana’s footsteps.