Peyton Manning is no longer an Indianapolis Colts quarterback. At an emotional press conference moments ago, Manning said both he and owner Jim Irsay have talked about the circumstances and they have decided it is "necessary we take this next step."
The next step for Manning is toward another team. Manning did not wish to speak about any possibility of where he'll wind up, instead using today exclusively to say his farewells. "I haven't thought yet about where I'll play," Manning said, "But I have thought about where I've been."
Manning later reiterated that "I really don't know, I probably need to ask someone what these next few steps are," when he was asked how he next goes about seeking a new team.
The most newsy nugget to emerge from the emotonal 13-minute press conference was Manning discussing the progress of his throwing. Manning missed the entire 2011 season following at least three and possibly four procedures to his neck meant to help nerves that serve his right throwing arm regenerate after they stopped firing.
Manning was unable to play because the nerve damage stole strength from his arm and prevented him from throwing at his usual capability. That capability, Manning said, has improved lately.
'I'm throwing it pretty well," he said. "I've still got some work to do, I've got some progress to make. But I've come a long way. And I've really worked hard. I can't tell you the hours I've put in to working hard. I really enjoy being back out there. I've had a chance to throw with some of my old teammates -- guys like Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark, Austin [Collie], [Brandon] Stokley, [Jeff] Saturday's snapped to me a couple of times. That's been the most fun part ... being back out there on the field.
"You're in the training room all Fall, you're sort of off-limits to the field so to be cleared to be kind of be back out there and throw, I sure have enjoyed that. I'm doing better. I continue to work hard and hopefully keep making some progress."
Manning stopped short of saying he's 100 percent.
"I'm feeling closer and closer," he said. "I have to remind myself that it is March. I have a hard time doing that at times. But it sure feels comfortable. It feels like home being out there."
Manning mentioned that Irsay said he would always be welcome around the Colts. The Dolphins play the Colts this coming season. If he signs with the Dolphins, perhaps Manning can visit with the Colts the week before the game when they're drawing up their defensive game plan.