The Colts formally announced on Wednesday that Peyton Manning is leaving the franchise, with owner Jim Irsay getting choked up as he gave a heartfelt speech about what Manning has done for his team, NBC Sports reported.
"It's an incredible blessing," Irsay said. "As difficult as this day is, it's made difficult because of the greatness and the things Peyton has done for our city, for our state, for our franchise. There will be no other Peyton Manning."
Manning, who turns 36 on March 24, missed all of last season after his third neck operation in 19 months. He was owed a $28 million payment by Friday if the Colts chose to retain him, USA Today reported.
Manning took Indianapolis to the playoffs 11 times in his 13 seasons, including two Super Bowls. He was named MVP in a 29-17 win against the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI in 2006, but the team fell short vs. the New Orleans Saints three years later.