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Cutting Peyton Lose

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The financial necessity yet painful separation of Peyton Manning from the Indianapolis Colts has taken place. Manning is without doubt one of the greatest players to ever put on a football jersey and strap a football helmet to his head. He is not only a former Super Bowl champion but also the NFL’s only four-time MVP. Those are credentials that likely won’t be repeated by anyone in the foreseeable future. Leaving the Colts franchise is not something that Manning had ever wanted to do. It was well-known that he had hoped to finish the illustrious career that he had carved out in a Colts uniform. When he signed his five-year, $90 million dollar contract last July, he was thrilled that he would be finishing out his career in Indianapolis. Sadly, however, that was not to be. Due to a neck injury sustained near seasons end in 2010, he was forced to sit out the entire 2011 season which involved four separate neck surgeries and months of recuperation. Colts management appeared to be as emotional about Manning’s release as was the player himself but deemed the financial drain of keeping Manning on the payroll too costly. The Colts own the number one pick in next months draft and it looks likely that they will take Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck. Hopefully Luck will be a good fit for the Indianapolis team and it is obvious that he will be bringing some amazing statistics of his own with him. Even so, trying to replace someone who has racked up more than 50,000 passing yards, 350 touchdown passes and over 200 consecutive starts will not be an easy task. True greatness does not come along every day and great is one of the adjectives that best describes Peyton Manning. Both on and off the field this has been a man who displayed the talent and demeanor that is rare in individuals. He will be missed by not only his teammates and the city who reveres him but by the millions throughout the country who have delighted in watching his unparallel skills on the football field.