Page last updated on Sat Sep 24 20:22:58 EDT 2016
Fri, 09 Mar 2012 03:23 PM EST

Colts owner Jim Irsay commented his team will free Peyton Manning, making the four-time MVP maybe the most-coveted free agent in NFL history – if he’s healthy enough to play in 2012. Basketball odds

Both men paused very often, fighting tears and their voices shaking, when they appeared together at a news conference at the Colts’ team facility to make public the end of Manning’s 14-year tenure in Indianapolis.

“This is tough due to the things Peyton has done for our city, our state and our organization,” Irsay said. “There will be no other Peyton Manning.”

Irsay expounded Manning’s No. 18 “will never be worn again by a Colt on the field.”

“We all understand that nothing lasts forever,” Manning said. “Times change, things change, and that’s the grim fact of playing in the NFL.”

Manning claimed wherever he ends up playing next season, “I will always be Colt. That will in no way change.”

It had been a sentiment shared by Irsay, who declared Manning will “always (be) part of the horseshoe.”

Manning will officially become a free agent once the Colts submit his release to the NFL; the league processes it and places his name on the waiver wire. Manning can sign with another NFL team right after the Colts formally release him.

The Colts had a cut-off point to pay Manning a $28 million bounty and exercise the 4 remaining years on the 5-year, $90 million agreement he signed before last season. Basketball spreads

Both men announced cash wasn’t a factor in Manning’s exit from the team.

“I haven’t thought about yet where I’ll play but I have through about where I’ve been,” Manning declared. “I’ve been blessed.”

Irsay recounted he is going to be rooting for Manning to succeed, wherever his next NFL home could be.

“I wish to see him come back and play excellent, no question about it. Here, as in 2001, we didn’t have everything to enclose him. I want him to be successful at the end of his career,” he said.

As for the Colts, Irsay regularly utilized the word “rebuilding” in the meeting and recognized: “We’re certainly a couple of years away.”

Manning chose to stay with the Colts, one source related, but a source close to Irsay asserted the owner concluded the significant restructuring of the franchise could include a transform at quarterback, likely either former Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck or previous Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III.

One resource close to Irsay said that the decision wasn’t financially driven, evidenced by the plain fact the owner chose not to get involved in negotiations to restructure Manning’s agreement.

Resources said that Manning expects to have heavy dialogue with interested teams before he makes a call on where to continue his career and will probably work out for one or two select teams when he estimates his top choices.

Dr. Robert Watkins, who performed the one-level cervical fusion, has stated publicly that he has cleared Manning to restart his playing career and the damaged nerves have regenerated to the point where Manning has thrown the ball with greater distance and velocity during the past few weeks.

To that end, Manning, who turns 36 year-old later on this month, conducted an aggressive throwing session in his Colts helmet, shoulder pads and jersey at Duke University, a source said.

The Arizona Cardinals, Miami Dolphins, Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins, Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs and New York Jets all have been rumored as practicable destinations for Manning.

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