Peyton Manning and The Indianapolis Colts split up this afternoon in a press conference that streamed live across the internet.
Manning played with the Colts since being drafted first overall in 1998. He has been respected as one of the top, if not the top, quarterback during his time behind center in Indy. Only the Saints’ version of Drew Brees and New England’s Tom Brady can even compare to the brilliance of Peyton Manning.
Unfortunately, Manning had four neck surgeries over the past year, did not play in the 2011 season and is still shrouded in mystery as to whether he can throw at the same level that he used to be able to. No matter how he looks, Peyton Manning will be an upgrade at quarterback for many teams.
Manning and owner Jim Irsay both said that the decision to split was not based on the $28 million Manning would have been owed on March 8th, a mere twelve hours from the press conference announcing his release.
Manning is entering uncharted waters, having only played for the Colts his entire career. The interest that he will receive from other teams will be tremendous and will guarantee a busy free agency period for the former league MVP.
While it would be daunting to have Manning starting with another AFC South team, playing against the Jags twice a year, I wish Peyton all the best in his career re-start with whichever team signs him. He showed his high character again, thanking the Colts, numerous players, and a large number of support staff for the blessings he has received in Indianapolis.
The league is better with Peyton Manning playing.
- Luke N. Sims