Speculation Swirls That Colts Have Cut Manning Loose
6:29 AM, Mar 7, 2012
Jim Irsay and Peyton Manning arrived together in Indianapolis on the team owner's private plane Tuesday night amid speculation the Colts have released the star quarterback.Irsay's plane arrived in Indianapolis just before 9:30 p.m. The pair walked off the plane together and got into Irsay's SUV, with Irsay behind the wheel.
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As they were leaving the airport, they stopped to talk to the media. RTV6 sports reporter Jason Spells asked them if they were happy about the decision."We're good, right Jim?" Manning said, smiling throughout the impromptu interview. "We're good. We're going to talk tomorrow. We're going to do it the right way tomorrow."ESPN reported earlier Tuesday that the Colts would announce Wednesday that the team will part ways with Manning.Citing sources close to the team, ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen reported that the announcement would come at a news conference in Indianapolis with both Manning and team owner Jim Irsay in attendance. That news conference is set for noon.Manning turns 36 later this month, and missed the entire 2011 season after a third neck surgery. Before that, he'd never missed a game in his 13 NFL seasons.He is owed a $28 million bonus, and with the Colts holding the top draft pick, they apparently have decided it was too risky and pricey to keep the four-time league MVP.Mortensen said sources told him that Manning said he intends to continue to play in the NFL.Manning's older brother, Cooper Manning, told USA Today that his brother would be leaving the Colts."I don't think Peyton's done any personal diligence on what the next step is. Until it was over, he was a Colt through and through," Cooper Manning said. "Now, he'll have to re-evaluate and see what this next chapter reads like."Fans were split on the speculation on the RTV6 Facebook page.
"OMG how stupid. Welp looks like next yr. I'll be rooting for another team.... MANNING WAS THE COLTS!!!," wrote April Mosier."So much for believing Irsay when he stated that Manning would be a COLT for his entire career," Tami Vanett posted.Others said they're confident the Colts can continue on without the star quarterback."I hate to see him go if it's true. I would like to see him finish & retire as a Colt player," wrote Toni Wilson."If you're changing teams because Manning isn't on the Colts then you obviously weren't a Colts fan," posted Kyle Johnson."I think Irsay has had this in his plan all along. He could have paid Peyton the amount that was initially agreed upon, but he chose not to," Ashley Nicole wrote. "I'll always be a die-hard Colts fan, but very sad to see Peyton go. The next QB recruit is going to have large shoes to fill."
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