The speculations is over and the question of whether or not the Indianapolis Colts would release quarterback Peyton Manning, who underwent four neck surgeries over the last two years and sat out the entire 2011 season, has been answered as the four-time NFL MVP was released today by friend and owner Jim Irsay.
While Manning and Irsay both commented during the press conference today, that the team assembled to announce his release, money had no bearing on the decision to release him.
But he was due a $28-million dollar roster bonus tomorrow with if he remained with the team.
But with an uncertain future, massive salary, and Andrew Luck staring the Colts in the face with the number one pick, the obious choice for the Colts was to severe ties with Manning and re-build with Luck at the helm.
Manning is now free to sign with any team in the NFL, and the market that is likey to develop for him should be sizeable.
Any team without a franchise quarterback could purse Manning, but the Dolphins, Redskins, Jets, and Cardinals have emerged as early favorites.
Manning has been linked to the Dolphins, primarily because they need a quarterback, and alos because he maintains a residence in the area.
After the press conference today in Indianapolis, Mannign was spotted leaving the Opa-Locka Executive Airport, and according to a report by Mike Florio he jumped into an “unknown” van.
Whether or not Manning is actually meeting with the Dolphins or not is up to debate, but thet are expected to go hard at him in attempt to land the “big fish” of the 2012 NFL free agent pool.