Moments after Colts owner Jim Irsay announced he was releasing Peyton Manning, the longtime star quarterback said he’s sure he’ll be playing in the NFL in 2012 — he just doesn’t know where.
“I will leave the Colts with nothing but good thoughts and gratitude,” Manning said. “I haven’t thought yet about where I’ll play but I have thought a lot about where I’ve been. And I’ve truly been blessed. I’ve been blessed to play here.”
Asked how confident he is, after a neck injury that required multiple surgeries, Manning said he will not retire, and that his ability to throw has largely recovered.
“I am confident,” Manning said. “I’m throwing it pretty well. I’ve still got some work to do, I’ve got some progress to make, but I’ve come a long way. I’ve really worked hard. I can’t tell you the hours and the time I’ve put into working hard. I really enjoy being back out there. I’ve had a chance to throw with some of my old teammates, guys like Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark, Austin [Collie], [Brandon] Stokley, [Jeff] Saturday’s snapped for me a couple times. So that’s been the most fun part, being back there on the field. . . . I’m feeling closer and closer.”
And in six months, Manning believes he’ll be back there on the field in a regular-season NFL game. But today, Manning wanted to keep the focus on his old team, not his next team. And at times he had to fight back tears as he talked about how much he appreciated the fans in Indianapolis.
“I sure have loved playing football for the Indianapolis Colts,” Manning said.
Here’s video from the press conference: