Peyton Manning to Part Ways with Colts
Although Peyton Manning is found on pictures just about anywhere in Indianapolis, ranging from the airport to the mall to the portrait on the side of the downtown stadium, it seems that the beautiful partnership is down to its last leg.
On Wednesday, the iconic quarterback is set to part ways with the Colts.
Manning, who had turned the franchise from league laughingstock to a constant contender who even won the Super Bowl during the 2006 season, is expected to become the most prized free agent in the history of NFL.
A news conference will be held by the Colts on Wednesday, with Manning being among those who will be speaking.
Of course, the decision did not come as a surprise. Fourteen years of Manning’s career had been spent in Indianapolis, but a neck injury that forced him out of the 2011 season made him expendable, with the Colts collapsing without him. The Colts ended the season with the worst record, tied at 2-14 with the St. Louis Rams.
This led the Colts to choose Andrew Luck as Manning’s successor, who will undoubtedly have to meet many lofty expectations in the same way that Manning did, although Luck is joining the franchise at an entirely different position compared to what it had when Manning came on the scene. From the end of the season, Jim Irsay, the franchise owner, cleaned house of many of the front-office executives and coaches who worked with Manning.
Surely, the Colts would prefer Manning to retire instead of continuing to play, but with clearance from his doctors, Manning’s throw has reportedly improved over the last few weeks. Now, despite Manning’s hopes of playing for only one team throughout his career, he will likely join other quarterback legends like Joe Montana and Johnny Unitas, who finished their careers at a different team.
During the time before the Super Bowl, Manning had exchanged public barbs with Irsay, giving a clue as to how uptight their emotions were in light of a possible parting. Interestingly, Manning might have given a greater indication as to the jarring state that the past few months had been in for him, in the week prior to the Super Bowl game in Indianapolis.
In an interview, Manning had described things as being “strange,” given how many of the coaches were getting let go. He admitted that it could be normal for many teams, but for Indianapolis, it never seemed to happen that much.
“Everybody is walking around on eggshells,” he said, explaining that nobody knew who was going to get sacked next.
He admitted that it was not the kind of environment anybody would have liked to be in, and that it was fun to be able to get out of town.
With his being gone from the team for good, his availability is expected to result in a free agency sweepstakes, just like what happened with a few other legends. Manning’s absence from Indianapolis this season may just have enhanced his value, as it wound up emphasizing just how much Manning contributed to the team.
Now that he has been cleared in terms of his neck injury, Manning is considered one of the dominant quarterbacks who seemed able to transform even the worst franchises instantly.