For over a decade it has been impossible to think of the Indianapolis Colts without immediately mentioning Peyton Manning. Since being drafted 1st overall in the 1998 NFL Draft Manning has been the unquestioned face of the franchise, representing the Colts in excellent fashion both on the field and off the field. But as the saying goes, ‘all good things must come to an end’, including the Manning era in Indy as the Colts have decided to part ways with the greatest player in their franchise history. The decision was officially announced in a press conference Wednesday held by Manning and Colts’ owner Jim Irsay.
Manning was due a $28 mil roster bonus March 8th, leaving the Colts with a difficult business decision regarding their future. Manning had a reported four surgeries to repair a neck injury that caused him to miss the entire 2011 season. The Colts finished the year 2-14 without Manning, earning them the first overall pick in April’s NFL Draft that will more than likely land them highly touted Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck.
Peyton Manning will now be an unrestricted free agent, allowing him to sign with any team he chooses. There are a handful of teams that will be in pursuit of Manning’s services, with the immediate favorites being said to be the Miami Dolphins and Washington Redskins.
In thirteen seasons, Peyton Manning has established himself as one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. Manning was named NFL MVP four times (2003, 2004, 2008, 2009) and is a 5-time first team All-Pro selection. Manning also led the Colts to two Super Bowls, winning the SB title in 2006. Over the course of his career to date Manning has passed for 54,828 yards and 399 touchdowns while completing 64.9% of his passes and leading the Colts to a 141-67 wins with Manning as starter.
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