Peyton Manning and Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay held a joint press conference this morning in which they confirmed his days in Indy are over.
Manning played 14 years in Indy, earning 11 playoff appearances, 11 Pro Bowl selections, eight division titles, four MVP awards and one Super Bowl.
"I sure have loved playing football for the Indianapolis Colts," he said. "I've been a Colt my entire adult life ... but we know nothing lasts forever."
"Our circumstances make it best for us to take this next step."
Manning choked back his emotions. "I love it here, I love the fans," he said. "I'll leave the Colts with nothing but good thoughts and gratitude."
"I've been blessed to play here," Manning added, thanking the city, fans, team and media. "Thank you very much from the bottom of my heart."
Owner Jim Irsay lauded Manning's career with the team while announcing its conclusion amid a "long difficult process." They will retire his #18 promptly.
Irsay says the Colts' salary cap issues and decision to rebuild necessitated his release, but Manning was "completely unselfish" in accepting the outcome.
"There will be no other Peyton Manning," said Irsay while getting emotional. "We've been so blessed to have him. He's always part of the horseshoe."
Manning said he was "confident" about resuming his NFL career, though it's unclear where that might take place when the NFL returns in September.