The most anticipated climax between the Indianapolis Colts and Peyton Manning is expected to take a turn as the Colts are reportedly set to release the four-time NFL MVP in an official press conference on Wednesday.
It would not be an unexpected decision, but it would end the 14-year tenure of Manning with the team he headed to a Super Bowl title and a second appearance in the NFL title game. The root cause that led to this decision will be Manning’s neck surgeries, the third of which forced him to miss the entire 2011 season.
Since being the first overall pick in 1998 draft, Manning has been among the NFL’s elite quarterbacks. He is a four-time league MVP, breaking Colts career records while leading them to 11 playoff appearances. He also was a Super Bowl MVP. The 35-year-old is the Indianapolis Colts’ all-time leader in passing yards (54,828) and touchdown passes (399).
Manning is owed a $28 million bonus, and with the Colts holding No. 1 pick in April’s draft, they apparently have decided it was too risky and pricey to keep the longtime franchise quarterback, who turns 36 later this month. By all signs the Colts are expected to take Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck with their first pick in April’s draft.
Peyton can sign with another team before the March 13 opening of the NFL’s free-agent market if he’s released.
Now the questions are: Will Manning be geared up to play in 2012, which teams would be interested in picking up his services? Among suitors are the Arizona Cardinals, Miami Dolphins, Seattle Seahawks and New York Jets.