Russell Wilson pens 'thank you' letter to Peyton Manning

Wilson wrote a letter to Manning Monday in The Players' Tribune, thanking Manning for inspiring him a decade ago.

SEATTLE – As the football world waits for Peyton Manning to decide whether he’s going to retire or stick it out one more year, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is not waiting to say “thank you.”

Wilson wrote a letter to Manning Monday in The Players' Tribune, thanking Manning for inspiring him a decade ago.

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“If this is it, there’s one moment I won’t forget. 10th grade. Louisiana. At your quarterback camp.”

Wilson included a photo of himself wearing a green shirt and shorts, kneeling among a group of other high school quarterbacks, listening to Manning at one of the camps.

“You inspired me to work hard. To be disciplined. To be respectful. To take notes. You inspired me to love the process. To love the sweat. To love the tears. But most of all …You inspired me to love the game,” wrote Wilson.

The protege bested the mentor in Super Bowl XLVIII when the Seahawks crushed the Broncos 43-8. That loss was seen as the catalyst for Broncos general manager John Elway to rebuild his roster in two years to mimic the Seahawks' aggressive, smothering defense. That helped Manning win his second Lombardi Trophy Sunday.

Wilson is a senior editor for The Players' Tribune, which allows players to tell their stories in their own words.