The decision will be made official on Wednesday, the Colts are going to sever ties with longtime quarterback and future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning. It is an announcement that many have believed to be inevitable, but that doesn't mean it has any less of an impact on the future of the league.
At this time a year ago nobody would have seen this day coming (not this soon anyway) and now Manning will have to go the same route as other players who had amazing careers but finished outside of where they made their name. But a 2-14 season and the opportunity to take Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck with the #1 overall pick in next month's draft as well as the $28 million dollar roster bonus owed to Manning had the team not released him by this Thursday have both forced the hand of Colts owner Jim Irsay.
Now the big question is where will manning go next? Since he was released and this was not an expiring contract situation, Manning could sign with a new team by tomorrow, but that's not going to happen. Several teams will have Peyton come in for individual workouts and physicals to evaluate how his neck has healed from surgery and to see if his arm is still as strong as it was before. Among the teams expected to take a look at Manning are the Redskins, Dolphins, Jets, and Seahawks as the front runners with teams like the Titans, Cardinals, and Browns as possibilities, though unlikely ones. The official free-agent signing period begins Monday March 13th, Manning will be the leader of the free-agent quarterback class along with former Packer backup Matt Flynn and former Raider Jason Campbell.
The former #1 overall pick in the 1998 draft has broken all of Indianapolis' career records for quarterbacks and was the starter under center for the Colts every game since then until this past season. He's taken the Colts to the playoffs 11 times, has won seven AFC South titles in eight years, two AFC championships, one Super Bowl title and a Super Bowl MVP Award as well as four league MVP's.
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