Poll of the Day: For whom will Peyton Manning play next?
Holding the No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft, the Colts did today what has seemed inevitable for a while -- they released Peyton Manning in time to avoid paying him the $28 million roster bonus he would have otherwise been due.
In less than an hour at 4 p.m. ET, teams will then technically be able to sign Manning, a four-time league MVP and future first-ballot HoFer.
Manning, the No. 1 overall pick in 1998, is third all-time in passing yards (54,828) and passing touchdowns (399). He needs 21 passing touchdowns to tie Dan Marino (420), who is in second place and he's 109 behind Brett Favre.
While it seems strange to think of legends wearing different uniforms like Joe Montana in Kansas City, Michael Jordan in Washington, etc., as Manning said today, "We all know that nothing lasts forever. Times change, circumstances change, and that's the reality of playing in the NFL."
Meanwhile owner Jim Irsay said: "The number 18 jersey will never be worn again by a Colt on the field."
So, assuming Manning will be healthy enough to continue his playing career, that turns our attention to where will the No. 18 be worn next?
This morning, I heard ESPN's Adam Schefter list his (March Madness-themed) "Final Four" teams most likely to land Manning as the Dolphins, Jets, Cardinals and Redskins.
Others possibilities include the Seahawks, Texans, Broncos, 49ers, Chiefs, etc.
Personally, I expect Manning to end up in Arizona for a few reasons including: (1) an existing relationship with coach Ken Whisenhunt, (2) one of the league's best receivers in Larry Fitzgerald and (3) they play in the worst (or one of the worst) divisions in the NFL and are only a quarterback away (despite their trade for Kevin Kolb).
Where do you think he ends up?