Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Colts release Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts ended their successful partnership with a tearful goodbye Wednesday, when team owner Jim Irsay released the star quarterback rather than pay a whopping $28 million bonus while there are lingering questions about his health.

"We all know that nothing lasts forever," Manning said. "Times change, circumstances change, and that's the reality of playing in the NFL."

Manning and Irsay each paused frequently, fighting tears and their voices shaking, as they appeared together at a news conference at the Colts' team complex. It was an unusual and awkward scene, two men whose NFL lives have been so closely intertwined, standing side-by-side in jackets and ties as they told the world they were splitting up.

"This has not been easy for Jim," Manning said, "and this has certainly not been easy for me."

The 35-year-old Manning will become a free agent, and is expected to generate interest from a half-dozen or so NFL clubs, provided he's healthy. Manning is coming off a series of operations to his neck and missed all of last season when his team's record, not coincidentally, plummeted to 2-14.

"Peyton is on the mend to try to resume his career," Irsay noted.

Indianapolis needed to cut Manning this week to avoid paying him a bonus from the $90 million, five-year contract he signed in July, although both owner and player insisted the decision was not really about money. The Colts are widely expected to begin moving on by taking Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck with the No. 1 overall pick in April's draft.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home