Today in sports: Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts are officially moving on after 14 years, the Saints braintrust breaks its Bountygate silence, and Joe Gibbs gives a brief bounty history lesson.
Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay formally announced the team would release quarterback Peyton Manning after 14 hugely successful seasons with the franchise. Manning was at Irsay's side during the press conference, which a month ago would have seemed close to impossible, given the nasty public back-and-forth between the two sides on the status of Manning's surgically repaired neck and Irsay's overhaul of the team's front office. Wednesday's news conference was light on bitterness and long on choked-up expressions of gratitude and thanks. Irsay pledged Manning's no. 18 jersey would "never be worn again by a Colt on the field" and that the quarterback would "always (be) part of the horseshoe." (Notable, since last month, Irsay accused Manning of "paint[ing] the horseshoe in a negative light" after he was mildly critical of the owner in an interview with the Indianapolis Star.) Manning, for his part, tried very hard -- with little success -- to keep his emotions from pouring out on live television. [Indianapolis Star]
There's no shortage of numbers to measure the level of greatness Peyton Manning reached in Indianapolis. But these seven are the most telling.
2 Super Bowl appearances, with one win
4 MVP awards, the most in NFL history
9 Consecutive playoff appearances by the Colts from 2002 to 2010. Tied for an NFL record.