Drew Brees is on pace to break Peyton Manning's all-time passing yardage mark.

"It's just a matter of when," Manning said.

"He deserves it. He's been a great player for a long time."

Manning retired after the 2015 season with 71,940 career passing yards and 539 touchdown passes -- both all-time NFL marks. Brees needs just 1,496 yards to pass Manning.

"Obviously, he's just been the ultimate pro, taking care of himself, being in great shape. Credit to him for playing as long as he has at such a high level," Manning continued. "He's just been a great model of consistency, what he and Sean [Payton] have been able to do together for [12] years now."