Colts Owner On Peyton Manning: 'The 18 Jersey Will Never Be Worn Again By A Colt'

Both Peyton Manning and Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay were teary-eyed at times as they officially announced Manning's release at a Wednesday news conference. The two have been together since the Colts drafted Manning with the No. 1 overall pick in the 1998 NFL draft and things came to an end on Wednesday as the Colts sent Manning off to free agency.

Irsay had to stop and compose himself a couple of times throughout his speech as he talked about the process that led to Wednesday's press conference.

The 18 jersey will never be worn again by a Colt on the field," Irsay said. "This process has been a long difficult process. I know Peyton and I have had numerous conversations over the months and we always kept trying to come back to the circumstances that were before us. We tried to put each other in each other's shoes and tried to realize what the situation was for the franchise, what it was for Peyton and in the end those circumstances were too difficult to overcome.

Those circumstances, as Irsay explained, were mostly the Colts salary cap situation. The Colts are rebuilding now, something Irsay said several times. It simply didn't make any sense for him to stay on the Colts roster but it was still a difficult day for the Colts organization and their fans.

The good times we've had together, the laughs we've shared together, growing up together in the organization when a 37 year old owner met a 22 year old player coming out of Tennessee and the dreams that we had and experienced are just beyond my imagination. As difficult as this is, I know that our journey togeher hasn't ended. It's just begun.

For more on the Colts, head over to the SB Nation blog Stampede Blue. For more on the Manning situation, stay tuned to this StoryStream.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.