Colts decision on Peyton Manning not a major surprise to many

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With a little bit more freedom to speak his mind, Bill Polian wasn't afraid to be blunt about his feelings on the Colts quarterback decision on Wednesday afternoon.

"Not surprising," said Polian on ESPN not long after the network broke the news that Peyton Manning's 28 million dollar bonus would not be picked up by the team and that he would become a free agent. "I think most people believed it would happen and this marks a new chapter in Peyton's life."

The former Vice Chairman of the team was in the majority with his opinion, as many around Indianapolis and the country seemed less than surprised with the Colts' choice.

Even defensive end Dwight Freeney acknowledged to the NFL Network on Tuesday night that the end of Manning's run seemed near.

"I think with all the moves that happened here after the season was over with, Jim (Caldwell) being fired and all the coaching staff and all of that I kinda figured something was going to happen," said Freeney.

Still there was some disappointment on behalf of many including longtime Colts center Jeff Saturday. It was he that hiked the ball to Manning from 1999 tiil 2010.

"Obviously its sad for me from a personal standpoint," Saturday told the NFL Network late Tuesday night. "You go to work with the same guy for that many years, you've won as many games as we've won together, done the things we've been able to do and what we've been able to accomplish.

"Turn a franchise and a city that was a basketball city and make it a football city, its tough anytime things end like this and things come to a close, it's tough."

For linebacker Gary Brackett there's was some resignation that this could happen to the quarterback and was greatful for the time he had with Manning as a teammate.

"Even though it has been speculated for some time now that this would, I think there is still a shock factor," said Brackett to the NFL Network. "I know what Peyton has meant to the organization, has meant to me as a teammate.

"I definitely wish him the best in what every happens."

At least it finally brings the expected end to a drama that has played out since the Colts got the number one pick with their 14th loss of the season on January 1st to Jacksonville. With highly-touted quarterback Andrew Luck waiting in this year's draft, the time was ticking on Manning in Indianapolis for over three months.

"We're gonna get some closure, which I think everyone is looking forward to so we can move on, so Manning can move on and the team can more on" said Indianapolis Star Colts beat reporter Mike Chappell of the news of quarterback's release. "We've all seen it coming, this isn't a surprise."

John Michael Vincent, host of "The Ride" on 1070 The Fan, also saw the "when" instead of "if" when it came to Manning's departure.

"Most of us knew, a lot of people understood that it was going to happen sometime, it was going to be in the cards" said Vincent. "This is the direction that Jim Irsay and the Colts under this new guidance of Ryan Grigson and new head coach Chuck Pagano was going to go."

Still the break-up of Manning and the franchise is something that hits home for many Colts fans who've seen Manning as an institution in Indianapolis. For his first 13 seasons he didn't miss a game, leading the Colts to a Super Bowl win, two AFC Championships and a nine-year run of playoff appearances.

"It's still going to be a feeling-out process," said Vincent of Manning's departure for fans. "You'll have a lot of fans out there with hurt feelings initially."

Now debate that will rage even after Manning leaves Indianapolis is whether he will be healthy enough to play once the 2012 season comes along. Reports and even a leaked video indicate that the quarterback's throwing ability has improved-an opinion which Polian agrees.

"I understand what his health situation is, which is good and improving and I fully expect that he'll play again this year and my hope is and my belief is that he'll play well," said Polian on ESPN.

The Colts, meanwhile, have been relatively quiet on Twitter concerning the transaction. Jacob Tamme tweeted on his account "@jacobtamme" that he had just heard about it when asked by a follower. Jerraud Powers only retweeted the news of Manning's release posted by ESPN NFL reporter Adam Schefter.

Only punter Pat McAfee really gave a response to the news on Tuesday night.

"My guess.... Miami.. Peyton already has a place there," said Pat McAfee on his Twitter account "@patmcafeeshow" when asked where he thought Manning would go next.

No matter where that ends up being, Saturday says he'll remain a fan.

"I'm excited for him, I know he's got a great future ahead of him," said Saturday to the NFL Network. "From that standpoint, this is football and that's what happens."

But until something officially does, according to Vincent, don't count anything out until Irsay and Manning step to the microphone.

"Until there is a press conference and this has been a definite, don't leave out of the realm of possibility," said Vincent of the decision.

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