Peyton Manning, Colts To Split? Star QB Reportedly Done In Indianapolis
Peyton Manning's career with the Indianapolis Colts is over, according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen.
Per the ESPN report, the announcement will be made on Wednesday at a press conference in Indianapolis.
The four-time MVP missed the entire 2011 season after undergoing three reported neck surgeries over the past 20 months. According to Mortensen, Manning will become a free agent and intends to continue playing.
Just days before this ESPN report, Manning had been filmed at Duke University throwing to Colts teammates Dallas Clark and Austin Collie as well as former Colts wide receiver Brandon Stokely.
In February, Don Banks of Sports Illustrated reported that Manning had actually undergone a fourth unreported surgery and questions about his health have dogged him throughout his rehabilitation. Although his doctors announced that he is cleared to resume his career, no timetable has been made public for his return and reports about a lack of arm strength have proliferated.
Despite the increasingly tense public negotiations between Manning and Colts owner Jim Irsay and ensuing uncertainty around his health, several NFL teams -- and fan bases -- have emerged as potential suitors for Manning, including the Washington Redskins, Miami Dolphins and New York Jets.
Holding the No. 1 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft after a dismal 2-14 season, the Colts are positioned to hand to the reins of the offense over to presumptive No. 1 selection Andrew Luck.
The imminent parting, as reported by ESPN, between Manning and the franchise that drafted him with No. 1 overall selection in the 1998 NFL Draft comes shortly before the Colts' March 8 deadline to exercise an option in the quarterback's contract to keep him. Picking up the option would keep Manning playing with a horseshoe on his helmet through 2015 and include a hefty option bonus payment of $28 million.
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