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Peyton Manning

Fights Back Tears --

I'm DONE In Indy

3/7/2012 8:57 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF


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Peyton Manning and Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay have made it official ... Manning's playing days in Indy are over ... but the team plans to RETIRE Manning's #18 jersey, stat.

Fighting back tears ... an extremely emotional Peyton addressed Colts fans ... saying, "Thank you very much from the bottom of my heart, I truly have enjoyed being your quarterback."

Peyton -- who's been plagued with neck injuries -- said he's confident he'll play in the NFL again ... but says he hasn't thought about which team he'll join next.

Manning talked about his recovery ... saying, "I've got some progress to make ... but I've come a long way. I really enjoy being back out there."

Irsay -- who was equally emotional and also battled tears -- explained his decision to cut Peyton by saying, "[The Colts are] rebuilding a team with a salary cap problem."

Peyton was due to make a $28 million bonus with the Colts tomorrow as part of a 5-year $90 million deal -- but Irsay decided to release him before the payout.

Still, Irsay made it clear ... "The 18 jersey will never be worn again by a Colt on the field."

He continued, "We're here very much as well to honor all the incredible memories and incredible things that he's done for the franchise ... for the city ... for the state ... I can't thank [Peyton] enough."

A reporter asked why Peyton didn't retire as a Colt -- and Peyton replied, "I don't want to retire. I still want to play."

For more sports stories, check out tmzsports.com!
85 COMMENTS

No Avatar
1.

haskel420    

GO YANKEES..!!

937 days ago
2.

PatinNJ    

So what?

937 days ago
3.

Derwood    

Irsay looks like such a goober next to Peyton. I look forward to Peyton beating the Colts with his new team. I can't wait, in fact. Good luck Mr. Luck.

937 days ago
4.

voteisland.com    

Good run Mr. Manning, but Andrew Luck and the future awaits, this is best for all...vote your opinion and see how it stacks up others on voteisland.com

937 days ago
5.

D-INCARNATION    

He'd make a nice backup for Brady.

937 days ago
6.

ManiacalZebra    

I'm sure there are a lot of teams willing to take a chance on an injured QB the caliber of Manning.

937 days ago
7.

zbone    

Whoever said Andrew Luck is a sure thing in the NFL? The Colts are letting go of a still great Peyton Manning and a sure hall of famer. Teams can find another Andrew Luck during each draft but they may not find another Peyton Manning for the next 10-15 years.

937 days ago
8.

R.Clueless    

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Alright I'm over it now.

937 days ago
9.

JugEars McKenyan Sr..    

Too bad his career is cashed thanks to some pay to maim brother payoff schedule they were apparently using, as if these brohams weren't being paid enough money as it is, they took short chump change to maim fellow players? Freaking ghett ites man. I mean, that's almost criminal frankly and should be treated as such and if proven that hit on him messed up his neck and was intentional as now claimed he should sue that team and shut em down.

937 days ago
10.

janet    

He is such a class act.

937 days ago
11.

TANGO    

POOR PEYTON. I JUST HATE TO THINK OF THE HARDSHIPS THAT WILL NOW BEFALL THIS......MULTI-GAZILLIONAIRE. GET OVER IT.

937 days ago
12.

Cooley    

No respect. Manning should be able to retire with Colts.

937 days ago
13.

rico    

Poor little rich boy, boo-hoo

937 days ago
14.

Nick    

Im from Indiana and a big colts fan, I have enjoyed watching peyton play for many years and enjoy what he has done for us, he is being let go because colts are in a faze of rebuilding and is best for manning to let him go and have chance with a better team for these few years he has left , im glad I got to see him play his last game as a colt 2 years ago when colts got put out in wild card game vs the jets, just never thought that would be it, thanks for the memories!!!

937 days ago
15.

LAWRENCE    

Peyton Manning = Class Act

937 days ago
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