According to Chris Mortensen from ESPN, the career of Peyton Manning will add a new chapter on Wednesday morning. A press conference will be held in Indianapolis on Wednesday morning announcing the release of Manning from the Colts. Manning, named MVP of the league four times, missed all of the 2011 season after he had to undergo three surgeries for his neck over a span of 20 months. Manning, with his release, will become a free agent and he has the desire to continue his playing career. As recently as Friday, Manning was at Duke University working out with Colt teammates Austin Collie and Dallas Clark and former teammate Brandon Stokely.
The Colts struggled mightily without their franchise player, going 2-14 in 2011 and securing the number one overall pick in this April’s draft. Many draft experts claim that Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck will be chosen by the Colts, who seem to be enamored of the young player. A couple of NFL teams have expressed interest in Manning, including the New York Jets, the Washington Redskins and the Miami Dolphins. In the weeks leading up to this report, there have been public disagreements between Manning and Colts owner Jim Irsay.
The Colts took Manning with the number one overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft. The team has a deadline of March 8 to either release Manning or activate his contact option. If the option is activated, Manning would remain with the Colts until at least 2015 and would require that the team pay Manning a bonus of $28 million. Manning led the Colts to a Super Bowl win against the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI and was named the MVP of the game. In his only other Super Bowl appearance, in Super Bowl XLIV against the New Orleans Saints, the Colts fell by a score of 31-17.