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Quick Note: The End of the Manning Era

March 7, 2012

Today’s Quick Note is about this post on espn.com, describing the likely end of Peyton Manning’s time as an Indianapolis Colt. Manning is soon due a $28Million roster bonus, and it has long been speculated that the Colts will cut him to save that money, allowing them to offer likely top draft pick Andrew Luck ample rookie playing time.

Manning has undoubtedly been the most important addition to the City of Indianapolis since the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was built. Colts fans have long hoped for a reconciliation, but today’s news suggests that those hopes are forlorn. According to the report on espn.com,

The decision to pass on the $28 million bonus owed Manning and not to pick up the four remaining years on his contract means Manning will become a free agent, and sources told Mortensen that he intends to continue to play.

 Free agency begins March 13, but Manning can sign with a team as soon as he is officially released. The Colts have until 4 p.m. ET on Thursday to make the transaction official.

[italics are added by me to all quotes from the post]

Manning has been working to create a public perception of his ability to play, despite a series of surgeries on his neck over the past two years. The report explains that his most recent efforts include workouts at Duke University:

Manning could be seen in a video clip posted late Friday on YouTube, independently verified as authentic, making apparent encouraging progress in his recovery from the surgery that sidelined him for all of last season. He could also be seen completing passes in the video posted by a user who had access to a videotaped portion of the session near the Duke practice field.

 Sources at Duke and close to Manning confirmed he has been conducting aggressive throwing sessions in shoulder pads and helmet since Feb. 28 at Duke, where his former University of Tennessee offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe is now the head coach. It was Manning’s second trip to work under the supervision of Cutcliffe.

Speculation is that Manning might have two or three exceptional seasons left in his career, and that as a free agent a handful of teams might view him as one of the most compelling signing opportunities of all time. Miami, Arizona, Kansas City, Washington and the Jets are among teams that are suspected of interest in Manning. It seems logical that quiet “what if” discussions with Manning’s agent may have been conducted already. Whatever the case, the story will be as interesting as it is sad, for fans of Manning and the Colts.

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4 Comments
  1. Russ Bastable permalink

    Hard to imagine him in another uniform, but then again Favre became a Viking!

    • Let’s hope we don’t see a reply of the Favre cycle….on again…off again…on again…off again…! I think Manning has a clear sense of what he wants to do.

      • Russ Bastable permalink

        Yeah that cycle was annoying, both in regards to his retirements and his pants! #rimshot

  2. Awesome games, but North Carolina looks like the best tourny team left. G’Town dissapoints again!!!

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