Peyton Manning Says Goodbye to the Colts
(INDIANAPOLIS) -- Peyton Manning's 14-year career with the Indianapolis Colts came to a close on Wednesday.
The 36-year-old quarterback, who led his team to a Super Bowl victory in 2006, was drafted by former general manager Bill Polian in 1998. During his career, Manning led the team to two Super Bowls, won four MVP titles, was selected to 11 Pro Bowls, and became the all-time career leader in wins, passing touchdowns, pass attempts, pass completions, and passing yards.
"I sure have loved playing football for the Indianapolis Colts for 14 wonderful years. The only professional football I have known was Colt football," said Manning.
The announcement comes a day after owner Jim Irsay decided to pass on the $28 million bonus owed to Manning and not pick up the four remaining years on his contract.
Now, for the first time in Manning's career, he'll be a free agent.
"The 18 jersey will never be worn again by a Colt on the field, this process has been a long, difficult process," said Irsay.
Without Manning this past season, the Colts went 2-14 and landed the No. 1 overall pick in April's draft.
"I've played with so many great teammates here and I've been part of a great organization here," said Manning. "I've been a Colt for all my adult life but I guess in life and in sports we all know that nothing lasts forever."
Free agency begins March 13, but Manning can sign with another team immediately after the Colts formally release him. Indianapolis has until 4 p.m. ET on Thursday to make the transaction official.
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