The Indianapolis Colts will release Peyton Manning prior to the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine, or so NFL Network's Jason La Canfora is reporting. In fact, per La Canfora, the decision to part ways with Manning was made weeks ago.
"According to sources who were involved in the Colts’ GM search, the organization was planning to move on from Manning weeks ago, well before this public squabble between the quarterback and his owner," NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora said Friday on "NFL Total Access."
"So Friday’s joint statement won’t be changing a thing."
La Canfora reported the Colts will make a move on Manning "almost certainly" before the start of the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine.
The NFL Scouting Combine begins February 22nd in Indianapolis, two weeks before the March 8th deadline when the Colts must decide to release or retain Manning for the 2012 season. If the team keeps Manning after March 8th, they will owe him $28 million dollars.
Now, not to take shots at La Canfora, but he's been wrong on important NFL-related stories in the past. He stated back in 2010 that it was "very likely" that the Redskins would trade disgruntled defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth during the draft that year. Adam Schefter refuted this report. Haynesworth was not traded.
That said, La Canfora has a good reputation with several folks in the business, and he's more right than wrong most of the time.
For you Colts fans out there, you need to start thinking of this team and franchise without 18 calling signals at the line of scrimmage. Regardless of whether or not La Canfora's sources are correct about a decision being made 'weeks ago,' all the signs point to the Colts and Manning parting ways.
As I've said repeatedly, this is both good for the Colts and for Peyton Manning. If Peyton is healthy and wants to win another championship, he can't do that here. Conversely, the Colts want to rebuild and usher in a 'new era.' They can't do that with Peyton hanging around. Personally, I think the Denver Broncos are the best place he could go to win another ring. The Big Lead's Jason Lisk thinks San Francisco or Baltimore. Basically, anyplace but Indianapolis.
This isn't about Peyton being 'owed' anything by the team. It's about moving on. Peyton needs to move on from the Colts, and they from him.