Peyton Manning: Twitter Reacts to Report Colts Will Release Manning

Josh Martin@@JoshMartinNBANBA Lead WriterMarch 6, 2012

Tony Dungy and Peyton Manning after Super Bowl XLI between the Indianapolis Colts and Chicago Bears at Dolphin Stadium in Miami, Florida on February 4, 2007.  (Photo by A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Twitter is in mourning now that Peyton Manning is reportedly set to part ways with the Indianapolis Colts after 14 glorious seasons in the NFL.

Or, as much in mourning as 140 characters can properly convey.

ESPN's Chris Mortensen was the first to break the not-so-shocking news to the world:

Colts and Manning will part ways, per team sources #NFL32

— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) March 6, 2012

No word yet as to whether Rob Lowe—who claimed Peyton would be out weeks ago—has corroborated Mort's story, though ESPN columnist Rick Reilly will be waiting on pins and needles when he does:

ESPN reporting Peyton Manning will be released Wednesday. Still awaiting confirmation from Rob Lowe.

— Rick Reilly (@ReillyRick) March 6, 2012

The official announcement of Manning's departure is expected to come on Wednesday, along with the future Hall of Famer's resignation from just about every other role he fills within the organization:

BREAKING: Peyton Manning to resign as Colts Owner, GM, coach and quaterback. Announcement coming Wednesday.

— Shooter McGavin (@ShooterMcGavin_) March 6, 2012

Mort's report was followed closely on SportsCenter by a number of prominent sports luminaries, including two of the Worldwide Leader's favorites (or not):

"Coming up on SportsCenter, Peyton Manning is a free agent .. What do Tim Tebow and Jeremy Lin think about this?"

— Faux John Madden (@FauxJohnMadden) March 6, 2012

Manning's soon-to-be-newfound freedom is expected to shake up the open market for quarterbacks...and the teams that need them so desperately. Human bobblehead Skip Bayless took a moment away from kissing up to Tim Tebow to offer his thoughts as to which teams might be the best options for Peyton:

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In order, the teams Peyton could win with quickest: 49ers, Dolphins, Jets, Cards, Skins.

— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) March 6, 2012

ESPN anchor Trey Wingo thinks Manning might be a good fit (if not a historically ironic one) in San Francisco, where the current quarterback conundrum is split between re-signing Alex Smith and promoting second-year signal-caller Colin Kaepernick:

the qb who started the last game BEFORE Peyton Manning in Indy? Jim Harbaugh. Will he be his new head coach?

— trey wingo (@wingoz) March 6, 2012

Fantasy football guru and noted Washington Redskins fan Matthew Berry remains nonplussed about the possibility of Manning joining his team of choice:

As great as Peyton is, as a Washington fan, I do NOT want to see him in DC. Bad fit, too many other holes, need to build around a young QB

— Matthew Berry (@MatthewBerryTMR) March 6, 2012

Could Peyton Manning be the next King of South Beach? "Marv Albert" seems to think so:

Lebron's worst nightmare. Peyton comes to South Beach with his championship ring AND his more impressive forehead.

— Marv Albert (@NotMarvAlbert) March 6, 2012

Peyton's free agency figures to intrigue more than a few ambitious owners while jeopardizing the stable employment of at least one prominent quarterback, as MLB.com's Richard Justice suggests:

Hello, Tony Romo, this is Jerry Jones. We need to talk, Tony. Does the name Peyton Manning ring a bell?

— Richard Justice (@richardjustice) March 6, 2012

At the very least, we can pick out a team or two with whom Manning won't land:

Even though he's not officially a free-agent yet, Peyton Manning has already declined the Cleveland Browns offer.

— Faux John Madden (@FauxJohnMadden) March 6, 2012

In all seriousness, though, it'll be strange—if not downright sad—to see Manning to suit up for another team, just as great quarterbacks like Johnny Unitas, Joe Namath, Joe Montana and Brett Favre did before him. Bob Kravitz, who's spent years covering Manning for The Indianapolis Star, offered his sober thoughts on this unsettling yet inevitable day in the NFL:

We knew this was coming with Peyton Manning, but it's still shocking to read the words and confront the reality.

— BobKravitz (@bkravitz) March 6, 2012

Particularly for people named Peyton (or Payton), as Rich Eisen of the NFL Network points out:

So, Payton issues a release and Peyton is released. Hillis, I'd look both ways before crossing the street.

— Rich Eisen (@richeisen) March 6, 2012