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Indianapolis Colts Release Peyton Manning

Andy Lyons, Getty Images

After 14 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, the Peyton Manning era has come to an end.

Colts’ owner Jim Irsay announced in a press conference today that Manning has been released from the team. At the press conference, a visibly emotional Manning said that he was honored to have played for Indianapolis, and that he will “always be a Colt.” Irsay also said that the number 18 jersey has been retired, saying that it “will never be worn again” by a Colts player. Both Irsay and Manning denied rumors that money played a role in the decision to cut Manning

Manning sat out the entire 2011 season due to undergoing several neck surgeries. Without Manning’s leadership, the Colts had a 2-14 season, and will get first pick at the draft in April.

Since the Colts declined the $28 million roster bonus owed to Manning, he is now a free agent and can play for any team he’d like, if he is deemed healthy enough to play in the 2012 NFL season. Although he will be highly sought after by many teams, Manning has not given any indication where he’d like to play next.

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