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Eli Manning sent congratulatory text to Tom Brady after Bucs’ Super Bowl win

Eli Manning and Tom Brady have a storied shared history, but the longstanding rivalry between the two superstar quarterbacks does not mean there is any bad blood between the two NFL legends.

That much was established when the retired New York Giants signal-caller recently revealed that he sent a congratulatory text to Brady after the now-seven-time champion led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV.

“Yeah, I sent Tom a text just congratulating him and really just saying how not surprised but impressed with what he was able to do this year with Tampa, changing teams, shortened season, lock out and pandemic, everything going on,” Manning told SI Now, as transcribed by the New York Post.

“To still learn a brand new offense and make those adjustments and go win a championship is pretty spectacular. I’ve known Tom a long time and I just wanted him to know that I was impressed, along with a lot of other people.”

Interestingly enough, Manning predicted ahead of the 2020 NFL season that Brady’s first season in Tampa would be “tough” after a two-decade dynastic run with the New England Patriots. Clearly, Manning — along with countless other analysts, league insiders and skeptical sports media talking heads — underestimated Brady yet again.

Manning explained in his comments this week that the possibility of joining another team and the associated uncertainty played a huge role in his decision to retire following the 2019 NFL season.

“One of the reasons I did retire is that I didn’t want to make that change, I didn’t want to move my family, start all over, go to a different organization that maybe does things different than what you’ve been doing your entire career,” Manning said. “Almost 20 years, you’ve been doing something one way. What if it’s different? What if you can’t make those adjustments or coaches want you to do things that you’re not used to doing? There’s so many what ifs.

“Obviously, he was able to go there, implement some of the things that he’s had success with, but also make those changes and learn, grow as a player, as a teammate. Just a lot of respect for Tom and not just this year but his entire career.”

Manning of course is the only quarterback outside of Nick Foles who has defeated Brady in a Super Bowl, and he did it twice, in Super Bowl XLII and Super Bowl XLVI. It has led to some great ribbing and good-natured banter between the two over the years, but the mutual respect between the two is always evident.