Peyton Manning has been released by the Indianapolis Colts with four years remaining on his contract.
Having spent the 2011 NFL season on the sidelines; the man feted as one of the best quarter-back in National Football League (NFL) history; this year saw his younger brother Eli lead his New York Giants to a second Super Bowl in four years. Peyton on the other hand has lifted the Vince Lombardi trophy “just” once (Super Bowl XLI back in 2007). Peyton was also MVP in that Super Bowl winning campaign as well as three other NFL seasons.
Peyton Manning was the Indianapolis Colts All-Time leader in Career Wins, Passing Touchdowns , Pass Attempts, Pass Completions and Passing Yards. He was also the fastest quarter-back ever to reach 50,000 yards passing as well as the fastest ever to 4,000 play completions.
Manning and Colts owner Jim Irsay confirmed the news during an emotional news conference early Wednesday afternoon in Indianapolis. Both men’s voices broke as they announced that Manning was moving on.
The Colts passed on a US$28 million bonus owed to Manning and opted not to pick up the remaining four years on a US$90 million contract he signed last July.
Having taken the Colts from having the worst record of any NFL franchise when he joined (as first pick of the 1998 college draft) to two Super Bowl Sundays (winning one); Manning was voted the “NFL Player of the Decade 2000-2009.” Manning becomes a free agent for the 2012 NFL season and wants to continue playing though the Colts have admitted that they had concerns over the 35-year-old’s readiness to play.