ESPN is reporting that the Indianapolis Colts will hold a joint press conference tomorrow afternoon with Peyton Manning to announce that Manning will be released from the team making him an unrestricted free agent. No word on whether or not Stephen Ross will be in attendance with pen and a contract. Manning’s 14 year career will come to a close with the Colts but through his agent and close associates is not done playing football and will play in 2012.
The press conference will put an end to speculation on Manning’s future with the Colts and end the tumultuous relationship that has developed between Manning and Colts owner Jim Irsay.
Recent reports say that Manning’s arm strength is returning and a phone camera video was posted on national media outlets of a QB throwing passes at Duke University. The video claimed that it was Manning throwing the ball and Manning was later court side for a Duke basketball game that evening. Manning becomes the first top NFL free agent of 2012 and will be allowed to negotiate and sign a deal immediately. Giving teams a six day head start on finding a QB.
In addition to the Dolphins, Manning will likely find Seattle, Washington, and Kansas City as suitors for his services. Other teams rumored to be in play are possibly Cleveland, Houston, NY Jets, and Arizona. Manning is expected to join a franchise prior to the start of free agency. He is expected to earn a contract around 18 million a year with incentives. His base salary could be much lower if the incentives are deemed “not likely to be earned”.