Tom Brady has mostly gotten the better of Peyton Manning on the field, but they share the same feelings about each other off it.
Just a few months after Manning defended and supported Brady through the Deflategate allegations, Brady is returning the favor. Brady came to Manning’s defense on Monday in light of the Al Jazeera report that the Denver Broncos quarterback used performance-enhancing drugs in 2011.
“I fully support Peyton. My friendship with him over the years, he’s a guy that I can always count on, and has been someone that’s always been so supportive of me," Brady said. "We’ll have lifelong friendships. Truthfully I don’t put much into anything. I have a lot of friends, I have a lot of support, and he is the same. I’m a big fan and supporter of his. That’s how I really feel about everything.”
Brady was asked if he will offer Manning any friendly advice on how to handle the situation, to which he responded:
“He’s a big boy,” Brady said. “He knows how to handle these things.”
Brady has dealt with his own share of controversy of late, whether it’s Deflategate or his "support" of Donald Trump. Now it’s his friend Manning at the center of an issue of his own.
“I have a lot of personal thoughts that really are personal to me,” Brady said. “Peyton, I would consider him a good friend. You hate to see your good friends go through anything like that. He’s been a great player for this league, for his teams, for his organizations. He’s been one of the best players to ever play the game. Nobody has more respect for Peyton than I do, and everything that he’s accomplished. There’s always challenging times, but he’s a tough guy. I know that. He’s a very mentally and physically tough guy.”
The NFL will reportedly do its due diligence of investigating the since-recanted report, but Manning has adamantly denied it in every facet, calling it "completely fabricated." Additionally, Manning said he will "probably sue" for defamation.