Peyton Manning Press Conference: Former Colts Star Admits Release Not His Choice

Alex KayCorrespondent IMarch 7, 2012

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 30:  Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts shakes hands with team owner Jim Irsay during Media Day at Dolphin Stadium on January 30, 2007 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Moments ago, Colts QB Peyton Manning and team CEO and owner Jim Irsay announced at a press conference that the longtime Indianapolis signal caller has been released from his contract. It was not the future Hall of Fame quarterback's decision.

It comes as no surprise, given the news was widely reported yesterday, but Manning did reveal that it was not his choice to leave and he would have stayed with the Colts had they decided not to cut him free.

During the presser on ESPN2, Mike Berardino reported that Manning said,

"It wasn't his [Irsay’s] decision. It wasn't my decision. Circumstances kind of dictated all of that. It's not what either of us wanted. It's just kind of the way it worked out to be."

This decision was obviously 100 percent motivated by business, as the immense financial risk of gambling on Peyton’s uncertain health could not reasonably be undertaken.

Manning was to be owed a $28 million roster bonus on Thursday if he was still on the Colts and it would have activated the remaining four years of the $90 million deal he signed this past summer, according to Mike Chappell of The Indy Star.

It was a tearful decision that did not come easy for Irsay, and you can tell he held back no emotion when speaking of his quarterback and the hard choice he had to make to part ways.

Peyton was the face of the franchise and the reason the team won a Super Bowl and found success for the majority of his 14 seasons in the league.

It’s never easy to let someone like that go, but the fact that he underwent four neck surgeries in the past 19 months is just too much to risk $28 million upfront on and four more years with for a rebuilding franchise.

Now the Colts are widely expected to use their No. 1 draft pick on Andrew Luck, the Stanford QB who has the same amount of promise, if not more, than Manning did coming into the league.

Indianapolis fans are hoping he can help heal the wounds from this breakup, but they will never be able to replace No. 18. 

Related

    Every NFL Team's Surprise Starter

    Indianapolis Colts logo
    Indianapolis Colts

    Every NFL Team's Surprise Starter

    Maurice Moton
    via Bleacher Report

    The Most 🔥 Football Content on IG

    B/R Gridiron is here. Tap to follow the brand new account on Instagram

    Indianapolis Colts logo
    Indianapolis Colts

    The Most 🔥 Football Content on IG

    B/R Gridiron is here. Tap to follow the brand new account on Instagram

    Instagram
    via Instagram

    Reich on Ya-Sin: You Can See Him Progressing

    Indianapolis Colts logo
    Indianapolis Colts

    Reich on Ya-Sin: You Can See Him Progressing

    Josh Alper
    via ProFootballTalk

    10 Most Important Players for 2019

    @MikeTanier names his 10 most important players for 2019...and they aren't all superstars

    NFL logo
    NFL

    10 Most Important Players for 2019

    @MikeTanier names his 10 most important players for 2019...and they aren't all superstars

    Mike Tanier
    via Bleacher Report