Peyton Manning’s 14-year career with the Indianapolis Colts is coming to an end after owner Jim Irsay informed the four-time NFL MVP that the team will release him Monday night, according to team sources.
Irsay and Manning were traveling together Tuesday night from South Florida on Irsay’s private jet and will conduct a joint press conference Wednesday to announce the quarterback’s departure, the sources said.
Colts spokesman Avis Roper told The Associated Press he could not confirm the decision — or that a news conference would be held Wednesday — because Irsay was out of town and could not be reached for comment. Neither Irsay nor Manning’s agent, Tom Condon, responded immediately to messages left by The AP.
The decision to pass on the $28 million bonus owed to Manning and not to pick up the four remaining years on his contract means Manning will become a free agent. Sources said Manning intends to continue playing despite missing the entire 2011 season after having his third neck surgery in 19 months, a fusion of two vertebrae.
Without Manning, the Colts went just 2-14 and landed the No. 1 overall pick in April’s draft.
Irsay has since rebuilt the Colts organization, firing vice chairman Bill Polian, coach Jim Caldwell, most of Caldwell’s staff and general manager Chris Polian, Bill’s son.
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