Peyton Manning Press Conference
March 7, 2012 by staff
Peyton Manning Press Conference, It’s now official: The Colts and Peyton Manning have parted ways. In an emotional press conference broadcast live on numerous cable news channels starting at noon, Manning and Colts owner Jim Irsay jointly announced the end of the star quarterback’s 14-year tenure in Indianapolis.
Manning will become a free agent today, beginning a bidding war for his services that the Jets are expected to be involved in — if Manning is deemed healthy after reportedly undergoing four neck surgeries in less than two years.
“I will leave the Colts with nothing but good thoughts and gratitude,” Manning said today. “I haven’t thought yet about where I’ll play, but I have thought a lot about where I’ve been.”
Irsay called the split between the sides “unavoidable,” citing circumstances including the Colts’ tight salary-cap situation and Manning’s health. The five-year, $90 million contract Manning signed last summer included a $28 million option bonus due Thursday that the Colts could not risk paying.
Manning missed the entire 2011 season following his neck surgeries but is “confident” about continuing his playing career. He said he is throwing the ball “pretty well” and has come a long way in his rehab, but still has “some work” to do.
“I don’t want to retire,” Manning said. “Nobody loves playing quarterback more than I do.”
Both he and Irsay became choked up while addressing the media in Indianapolis, including a touching moment when Manning referenced the team’s equipment managers.
“It’s a difficult day here of shared pain between Peyton, myself, the fans, everyone,” Irsay said. “This process has been a long, difficult process.”
Irsay added that the circumstances surrounding Manning’s standing with the team were simply “too difficult to overcome.” He said Manning’s No. 18 will be retired by the Colts.
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