It has been a long time coming, but it appears that the time is here. After months of speculation, according to a report by ESPN's Chris Mortenson, the Indianapolis Colts are expected to announce at a press conference on Wednesday that the team will release quarterback Peyton Manning.
Manning missed the entire 2011 season because of a neck injury and subsequent surgeries. Previous to that, he had never missed a start in his career, that has been with the Colts since the beginning. He is due a $28 million bonus on March 8, and the Colts are apparently not sure enough of the viability of his future to pay him that bonus and handcuff their financial situation completely for the 2012 season.
Instead, they will likely draft QB Andrew Luck with the first pick in the NFL Draft this April and build again.
There will be a number of teams that will vie for Manning's services for this coming season, including the Arizona Cardinals, but Manning will have to show that he is progressing with his arm strength, such that he can show he will be ready for the season.
The Cardinals will have a small window. QB Kevin Kolb, whom they acquired a year ago, is due a $7 million bonus on March 17.
If this report is true, this will certainly make the offseason much more fun, because Manning will officially become probably the highest profile free agent the league has ever seen.
You can talk more Cardinals over at Revenge of the Birds.