Quarterback Peyton Manning said Wednesday that he’s intent upon resuming his NFL career but isn’t sure where he’ll do that.
“I don’t want to retire,” Manning said. “No, I don’t feel like I have anything to prove. But nobody loves their job more than I do…. I love playing quarterback.”
The Redskins are among a half dozen teams expected to vigorously pursue the superstar quarterback, who announced Wednesday that he and the Indianapolis Colts were parting ways.
Manning and Colts owner Jim Irsay stood side by side at a news conference in Indianapolis where the team announced it was releasing Manning, the NFL’s only four-time MVP, after 14 years with the franchise.
“I’ve been a Colt for almost all of my adult life,” Manning said. “But I guess in life and in sports, we all know that nothing lasts forever. Times change. Circumstances change, and that’s the reality of playing in the NFL.”
Irsay characterized the move to release Manning as unavoidable, given the team’s situation and Manning’s injury. Irsay called the Colts a “rebuilding team with salary cap problems.”
Said Irsay: “In the end, those circumstances were too difficult to overcome.”
Both fought to contain their emotions at times during the announcement and Irsay said that no Colts player ever will wear Manning’s jersey No. 18 again. He said he wouldn’t be surprised to see Manning resume his NFL career successfully.
“If anyone can do it, he can,” Irsay said.
Manning said he believes he will be ready to play again.
“I am confident,” Manning said. “I don’t know what these next steps are. This is all kind of new to me. This is the only team I’ve ever known…. This is kind of uncharted territory for me. So we’ll see how all of that plays out.”
Manning has resumed throwing as part of his rehabilitation program. He said he’s pleased with his progress.
“I’m feeling closer and closer,” Manning said. “...I’m working hard. I still have some work to do, but I’m looking forward to doing that work.”
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