Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 3/7/12
Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay announced Wednesday that the team has officially released quarterback Peyton Manning.

Both men were fighting tears during a news conference at the Colts' team complex.

"This has not been easy for Jim...and this has certainly not been easy for me," Manning said.

Manning thanked the organization and the fans of the organization profusely for their support. The 35-year-old has been the club's quarterback since 1998.

The Colts needed to cut Manning this week to avoid paying him a $28 million bonus. Indianapolis has the first selection in the upcoming NFL Draft and are expected to pick Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck.

A damaged nerve that forced Manning to have neck surgery kept him out of action for all of the 2011 season. The four-time MVP also expressed his desire to return next season. The New York Jets, Miami Dolphins, Arizona Cardinals and Washington Redskins are all rumored to be very interested in his services.
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