Peyton Manning will no longer be in an Indianapolis Colts uniform in 2012.
You read it right sports fans. After 14 years the superstar quarterback has been cut by Colts owner Jim Irsay.
Both Irsay and Manning fronted the media to announce what many are still trying to come to grips with.
For the Irsay and his Colts, it is a gut-wrenching decision – a decision that has included ample elements. Firstly, the season Indianapolis, secondly the injury to Manning and thirdly, claiming the first selection in the draft.
Medically, Manning has been cleared and since, he has worked his rear off in order to play again in the NFL. Recently, the older brother of two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback Eli Manning, Peyton threw for four to fives days straight at Duke University with Colts receivers and in front of present and past assistant coaches. Their reaction? Wow, the Manning of old.
There will surely be questions asked such as what if the Colts finished second and didn’t have the first pick. Is it about the $28 million bonus due this week (that he will now not receive) or is it largely due to the neck injury and concern if he couldn’t make a comeback?
For the NFL and its fans, the positive out of all this is that Super Bowl winning field general will plan on – he has worked too hard to walk away from the game he loves so much. Manning, according to sources close to him, has made heaps of improvement, just think of what another month of two with the rehab will do.
It was an emotional press conference with Manning at times tearing up however his thoughts were positive and looking at what’s ahead. From Irsay, it was a thanks … farewell … see you later.
For many, it will bring back memories of Joe Montana when he went to the Chiefs. He moved on. He played on. He returned to greatness. Yet still, Manning in another uniform – wow! Manning saved the Indianapolis franchise and built the stadium that recently hosted the Super Bowl.
In the end, no one is bigger than the game, although Manning comes close. What will be interesting to see is how the fan base will react – they love the guy. How will they be with a young hotshot from college taking over?
The four-time NFL MVP has now become the hottest free-agent on the market. Back in January on TheRoar I predicted Manning would be cut and that he would go to Arizona. Other teams of interest include the New York Jets, Miami, Washington, Tennessee and Seattle. In his statement to the media, Manning said that he has “no idea who wants me, what team wants me, how this process works.”
For the Colts, I expect them to select Love from Stanford University, also on TheRoar. Irsay has said that they’ll go through the process in looking at both Luck and RG3 however the money is on Luck.