Colts plan to announce Peyton Manning’s departure Wednesday

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The Peyton Manning era in Indianapolis is coming to an end on Wednesday.

The Colts will officially do what has been widely expected for months and formally announce that they’re releasing Manning on Wednesday, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reports. Manning and Colts owner Jim Irsay are expected to attend a joint announcement.

Manning’s departure comes after missing the entire 2011 season as a result of a neck injury that required multiple surgeries. In recent weeks a number of reports have suggested that Manning is progressing through rehabilitation and should be ready to play the 2012 season, but the reality is that the Colts had to choose this week between cutting Manning and paying him a $28 million roster bonus, and there was no way they were going to pay that money to a player whose health status is very much up in the air.

And so the Colts will move on without the surefire Hall of Fame quarterback who has led the franchise since he was the first pick in the 1998 draft, and they’ll hope that the first pick in the 2012 draft (most likely Andrew Luck) will develop into a player of Manning’s caliber.

And Manning will be an unrestricted free agent who can shop himself to any NFL team. If he’s as healthy and prepared for 2012 as the recent reports have suggested, some NFL team is going to get one of the best free agent acquisitions in NFL history.

119 responses to “Colts plan to announce Peyton Manning’s departure Wednesday

  1. Sad to see one of the game’s greatest quarterbacks leave his franchise under these conditions. I hope Peyton can still play at a high level for a few more years!

  2. Well, I’m officially rooting for whatever team Peyton signs with next season, even the Jets. I also hope he gets to play the Colts and wipes the floor with them.

    Also, one more Peyton vs. Brady please!!

  3. Am I the only one that would laugh if he went to some team that had absolutely no need for him like Green Bay?

  4. the end of an era….Still can’t believe this is happening. Props to one of the best ever and I hope he has several great years left with his new team

  5. I hope this isn’t true….remember ESPN is about as accurate as I am these days. They could announce tomorrow that he’s coming back with a new, incentive laden deal…but I don’t that’s going to happen. Sad day indeed

  6. Wherever he goes, I hope he destroys the Colts. I would even be happy if he went into the hall with his new team.

    Sorry, but I am extremely bitter about how Irsay has handled this situation.

  7. SF & ARI better act quick. KC & MIA would also be fits. Please god don’t play for the NYJ

  8. No big surprise to season ticket holders. Just don’t know why it had to happen after season tickets had to be paid for. It was inevitable. We will move on but this is a sad sad day for the Indianapolis Colts fans. Baltimore Colt fans….. We may never know how you felt when Elder Irsay moved in the middle of the night. But Young Irsay has proven the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. All that talk that it wasn’t about the money has proven it was about the money. Peyton will play again and I hope at a high level. He will be inducted into the ring of honor and the Hall of Fame. Good luck Peyton!

  9. You know we all acted shocked but this is the new NFL.It’ll be extremely rare for a player to spend his whole career with one team.Watch,in a couple years it will be Brady who will be a free agent.He is 34 and not getting any younger.Its all about what’s best for the teams future,who knows just what Manning a potential team is getting?This isn’t a knee surgery he’s coming off of this involves nerves in the neck!if he’s still struggling with his arm strength what else is he having issues with?And a good hit he’s risking paralysis.I think Manning should call it a career and go into broadcasting or acting.

  10. As a longtime coltsfan, I am going to really struggle with trusting Irsay with any more of his comments. He just took a major hit as an owner. This is a very sad day and difficult to think about next season. I will always continue to root for Peyton! Thanks for the last 12 seasons!

  11. Chiefs traded for Jo Montana and I guarantee there not afraid to sign Peyton manning. Ps. I think manning will get injured his first game.

  12. This Just In: Colts become first ever team to release whole team at once. In all seriousness though, sad to see Peyton leave in these conditions, and wish him the best to whichever team he plays for next year!

  13. Jets. I may even root for them then.

    DC trades their 8th round pick for Sanchez. ( I know, it’s 7 rounds).

  14. For all you people saying Manning will be a Dolphin. what makes you think he won’t be a chief. The chiefs have everything better than the dolphins. The chiefs are just one qb away from the super bowl.

  15. I live 4 miles from Lucas.
    Good luck to PM
    I’ll be watching.
    I hope he agrees to retire as a Colt.

  16. One of the funniest things I heard all year at the office. “Peyton should get MVP votes while not taking a snap all year.” Colt’s are going to be the new Detroit Lions of a few years back.

  17. I wonder if I’ll see a day where Peyton Manning throws a TD pass to Hines Ward.

    That would be so weird.

  18. @AlohaMRHand

    I’m not seeing how he’s struggling. The media has really blown these surgeries out of proportion. He opted to have this surgery, it was by choice, doctors have cleared him play, he can throw the ball pretty good right now unlike previous reports or lies rather from the Colts camp. Its like all this negativity is coming from the Colts, to in fact hurt him maybe to get signed somewhere else, I think your like everyother person hoping or crossing your fingers he doesn’t come back to haunt your team. Every report from the Colts or from Irsay has been contradicted so far, so I have to believe he’s gonna be just fine.

  19. Lots of coverage for a guy who had a losing record in the postseason.

  20. I sense a MNF opener between the Colts and whoever lands Manning (hopefully) – and then a Colts blowout loss.

  21. There really was no reasonable alternative to the way this played out. There’s no way the Colts could pay him $28 million and then spend enormous draft capital on the guy that will eventually replace him, as opposed to improving the team around him so he could win now.

  22. Manning screwed the Colts, same way Favre did the Packers.

    He knew damn well about his neck, and should have made things perfectly clear and not sign under false pretense of health. The Colts paid him $26 Million last year, to do nothing.

    Just like Favre should have either chosen to return sooner, or just stay retired.Peyton should have been honest and forthcoming last year about his health and not put his Franchise in jeopardy.

  23. My’s about time..they know darn well, they could have made this announcement a long time ago. I am so over this…….

  24. It’s sad, but not unprecedented, owners know the fans can be fooled to believe it was always the players fault becuz fans just refuse to hate on their “team”. 49’er did it to Montana, Rams did it to Warner, Packers did it to Favre, Jets did it to Namath, yada yada yada, so Isray isn’t afraid of doing it to Manning. Look what Isray did to the fans of Baltimore by moving the team in the middle of the night, do you think he is actually afraid of this move. I don’t think so.

  25. Well at least they got one year out of him after signing him to that huge contract…

  26. I hope the people that say “shut up and play out your contract” (when players hold out for more money or a longer term deal) are watching.

    Peyton has been the most upstanding player in the NFL and the Colts are just as quick to drop him like a fly. No loyalty anywhere in the NFL.

    Get what you can get for as long as you can get it. Because if and when something better comes along for a better price. You become an after thought.

  27. Breaking News: The AFC South is officially now rivaling the NFC West and AFC West in terms of awfulness. But that’s not fair the 49ers figured it out, here comes Peyton Manning.

  28. And you thought 2 wins was bad – wait till next year when you go offer in the w column. Indy franchise will be in toilet for next 4 – 5 years, so sad… Go Sanshise

  29. Rex Ryan and Philbin both wet their pants. Sure glad I’m not Mr Flynn. With Manning in the hunt and five good QB’s in the draft, his stock has gone way down.
    He’s probably peed off not getting the franchise tag, at least he would have gotten 14 mil gauranteed.

  30. Why would Manning be there with Irsay to announce his departure? There is a chance Mort has this wrong and he stays for a discount or retires…

  31. Being at the very pinnacle of your profession then to have to endure the surgeries and frustration of being sidelined THEN to have your team, the team you MADE turn their back on you on your way out of rehab has got to piss Peyton off, hurt him really. This dude is going to want to STICK it to the Colts and will have a huge chip on his giant shoulder pads! I for one hope he jams a couple more rings right in the Colts face- and I hope he is wearing aqua and orange when he does it! This country loves an underdog and Peyton is the new posterboy!

  32. It’s business. It’s not personal. Payton Manning cannot possibly expect Mr. Irsay to pay him over $25 million more $ AGAIN this year and HOPE he can play. Irsay cannot afford to pay Manning for what he did yesterday. It’s a stupid business move. If Manning feels guilty about taking ALL THAT $ from last year while not playing a down and not resign for less money, then he’s just as much to blame for being greedy. Sorry PAIDton Manning… you got yours… I wouldn’t trash my cap space to keep you around and you can forget that “aw shucks” neck talk… your a businessman too. Who is going to play around you if your sucking up all the $?
    I was born at night, just not last night.
    Andrew Luck may not even get to be the first pick. RG III is really really smart and extremely athletic and The Colts have been known to deviate from the “norm” before.
    Keeping Manning and that huge contract is just too risky…. unless you don’t mind losing almost all you games because he either can’t play or goes down again.

  33. Doesn’t this remind anyone of when the chargers let Brees go for Rivers and he signed with the saints? Except so much better

  34. Peyton is a class act and he will leave with his head high and will find a team that wants him to come in and teach. My only question is do they owe him anything

  35. Hate to see Peyton go but what a ride it was. Thank you Peyton!

    Hope he gets to play somewhere but I seriously doubt his ability or the new teams ability to get him to another Super Bowl. That takes time.

    Now imagine if the Colts had won a few more games last year and had the 16th pick in this draft. Keep an unproven Peyton? Trade up – with what?

    The Colts are very fortunate to have the first pick of two rather amazing prospects.

    Colt fans will hopefully soon be over it.

  36. Sad to see the way it ended. The owner could’ve handled it better. Peyton was class act about it and will probably remain that way although you know he hates Irsay by now.
    Anyway-going to be weird seeing him in another uniform. Sorry Colts fans but your SB days are over. I just don’t think Luck is going to get you there.
    End of an era.

  37. No way manning would ever go to cleveland,who would want to go there and lose,lose,lose?
    he’ll end up in a jets to see the skins sign him and have him mentor rg3.

  38. What choice do the Colts actually have here? It’s totally apparent the team needs some real rebuilding considering how poor they were in all facets last year.
    Peyton eats up a huge amount of the cap and picking up his option triggers the remaining 3 years of the deal. Also, he is in no way a lock to rebound and be healthy for the next 3-4 years. So how do the Colts get better with the available cap considering 28mil to Peyton, 14+ mil to Freeney and the new deal Mathis just signed? The answer is they don’t. If this team had a sustainable cap or enough great pieces to make a run of course you continue on with #18. Truth is they don’t. They badly need to build a great D around Freeney and Mathis and a serious O Line to protect Luck and get a ground game going and hope Luck develops.
    As a long time Colts fan all I can say is I will miss Peyton and hope he gets another ring or two.
    In closing, I guess if Johnny U can finish out a Charger , we will all need to get used to seeing Peyton elsewhere too.

  39. This is a huge error and Irsay will regret it later. Manning would have been the perfect tutor for Luck to learn from and still given the Colts a chance to win big in the near future.

  40. Manning is a class act, but a greedy one. He played the Colts a bit with that contract and has offered nothing to make a sensible decision possible in this situation. It’s also both a horrible and fortuitous scenario for the Colts to have a supposed once-in-a-lifetime first round pick available in the new rookie-cap era. (Imagine 3-4 straight #1 picks for less than $100M, or whatever, compared to Sam Bradford’s contract)

    Anyway, as much as Miami may have the money and the will, would Arizona and the dome not make much more sense?

    But I’ll take him in SF with Smith as backup for couple of years…that’d be sweet and fair to both. Replacing a guy with only two 300 yd games for a guy that has probably only thrown two below that! Smith is still young and could flourish under Manning’s teaching and have good odds to get back in the moment Peyton realizes it’s not worth risking his health. As long as Peyton comes at a reasonable cost.

  41. Andrew Luck must be THAT DUDE in Indy! He’s a good-looking prospect and may go far… much farther than Peyton.

    However, Peyton is going to go somewhere and if healthy, will kill Luck and the Colts. I mean, I would take a healthier Manning than most quarterbacks in the NFL right now. I mean, I would start Manning over Matt Ryan, right?

  42. As a Patriots fan, this is sad to here. The annual Brady vs. Manning game each year and the Brady vs. Manning debate will forever represent the glory days of being a Pats fan. As much as I enjoyed beating the Colts en route to back to back titles, good for Peyton for finally getting over the hump against us in 2006. Wish him luck in his recovery and maybe we’ll see him in the AFC East next season.

  43. Isn’t it just possible that Manning and Irsay scripted this whole deal?

    Isnt it possible that Manning was paid the big bucks to sit out last year so that the Colts would have the franchise QB?

    I just think that this is a possibility. He bails at the last second last year, and one of the winningest teams in the NFL finishes last.

    Just sayin…

  44. About time. Time to move on.

    I love how you goobers think Peyton Manning is going to take your team to the Super Bowl. Peyton Manning is a pretty average post season QB.

  45. Manning carried the Colts in evey game they playedregular and post season. They never had a DF unlike the Gmrn eho’s DF has carried Eli through everygame. Where ever he lands they will be a contender. Lets hope it’s not a loser like Miami or KC! Every eam would like him but only a few teams need him to win it all and neither of those are it!

  46. hopefully he lands in washington so kyle can help him work on his footwork and mike can work on his conditioning….

    In all reality, greatest QB in NFL history. I hope he does have 3 or so great years left

  47. It is my understanding that the Giants have decided tomake a play for Peyton. They want a seasoned backup for Eli. The moneys not great but he can be there for the next 10 years and may be on another superbowl winning team if Eli holds up

  48. adlent says:
    Mar 6, 2012 6:14 PM
    Sad to see one of the game’s greatest quarterbacks leave his franchise under these conditions. I hope Peyton can still play at a high level for a few more years!

    It does suck, and while its an apples and oranges, when Brett Favre waffled, about came back everyone knows the uproar and what not.

    Fortunetly the team was able to turn that negative into a positve (Matthews, and a SB win), while there wasn’t someone waiting in the wings, or Manning never talked about retirement. Its deffinetly going to be wierd seeing him in a new uni.

  49. @ caseyanthonymunoz

    who wrote:
    “Lots of coverage for a guy who had a losing record in the postseason.”

    umm, so does dan marino, brett favre, steve young, ben rothlesberger, tom brady, terry bradshaw, and aaron rogers…

    nom nom….

  50. So these so called experts have chosen their next Peyton Manning. Who know choosing the next “great QB” was so easy.

    Funny how Luck didn’t even have to challenge Peyton for his throne. Just kick Peyton to the curb and replace him with the “the best thing to come along in 34 year.”

  51. What? when did this come about? this is the first story I have heard about Peyton Manning leaving Indy. THis must be a joke.

  52. This is all about timing…. and money. I’d find it hard to believe that the Colts and Manning weren’t on the same page throughout this whole soap opera. The Colts have the first pick in the draft for a QB that has been highly tauted as a NFL ready starting QB. Manning is at the twilight of his career and is still marketable (if healthy) to be able to pick a team of his liking. Manning’s future in Indy would be limited if he were to stay, not to mention the salary hindering the Colts from a decent rebuild. And the team is in desperate need of an overhaul!
    I’m sure that he’ll resign w/the Colts when he retires. Until then, he’ll have some fun w/a new team.

  53. Hey Colts fan here ummm…this isn’t confirmed yet and will be decided tomorrow. I just wish and hope it doesn’t happen…even though it probably will:(

  54. I hope Luck fails miserably. Nothing against him but some of these teams need to show a little more respect to QBs that carried them for so long.

  55. There is NO WAY Luck plays for Indy. Watch, he will demand that Indy trade him or he will sit a year. Who would come play under these conditions – and for a team that obviously doesn’t give a rip about their players.

    This is classless of Indy, since we all know this would not be happening if they didn’t think Luck was headed their way.

  56. Andrew Luck may be the best college QB to come out in some time, but that means nothing for the NFL. Manning is in the top 10 at any position all time and he isn’t even finished. It is arrogant for the Colts to think they can replace him. If Manning ends up being healthy this will be the worst decision in the history of the Colts. Luck has no real chance to be as good as Manning. I hope the Colts pay for this for a loooong time.

    and so starts the Manning curse.

  57. Such a shame to see this. I don’t think any other player could have kept the Colts relevant the way Manning has, and was evidenced by his absence this past season. The Colts organization should have done everything possible to keep him a Colt until retirement.

  58. When summer rolls around it will be 18 months since he threw a serious pass.

    He has had multiple neck surgeries.

    To the best of my knowledge the colts’ doctor has not cleared him to play.

    He is 36 years old.

    He is one big hit away from a wheelchair and, even though I don’t like him, I would HATE to see him give his HOF acceptance speech sitting in a wheelchair.

    The colts really have no choice, and IMO any team that would take a chance on him is NUTS.

    He should WALK away from the game. IMO he owes that to his family.

  59. Sad day indeed, lets see how Peyton lets Irsay off the hook today in the press conference, he is a class act and will make sure that Irsay looks good. I too hope Irsay lives to regret this.

    As for him getting hurt…any player would be a fool to attempt to injure him, spotlight will be on him for sure.

  60. Wherever he goes, the most expensive offensive line in history will be there also…

  61. from the great ESPN: One source close to Irsay said the decision was not financially driven, evidenced by the fact the owner chose not to engage in negotiations to restructure Manning’s contract.

    NOT FINANCIALLY DRIVEN?!! Are you kidding? What else would it be, dum-dum? God, what jag-wods!!

  62. Sad sad day I actually got tearie eyeied today:( being a Colts fan I never saw this coming at all. But yes all good things must come to an end. The only upside would be him retiring but that’s sadly unlikely:( Luck may be a bust but I hope he’s not even though he had been injured last season.

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