Colts severing ties with Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts watches the action during the game against the Washington Redskins at Lucas Oil Stadium on August 19, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

One of pro football's biggest names is about to become its biggest free agent in years.

Quarterback Peyton Manning is being cut loose by the Indianapolis Colts, the only National Football League team he's ever played for.

Manning and Colts owner Jim Irsay arrived together in Indianapolis Monday night, as word spread the two would soon be parting ways.

Asked by a reporter if both were happy, Manning replied, "We're good, we're good. We'll talk tomorrow (Wednesday). We'll do it the right way tomorrow."

CBS News has learned the team will announce at a news conference Tuesday that it's releasing its star quarterback.

For 14 years, Manning has donned the blue and white Colts uniform. A four-time Most Valuable Player, he became the face of the franchise, leading the team to 11 playoff appearances, two American Football Conference championships, and the 2006 Super Bowl title.

But that all changed last season. Following multiple neck injuries and surgeries, Manning was forced to sit out for the first time in his NFL career, ending his streak of 227 consecutive starts, the second-longest of all time for quarterbacks.

With a $28 million bonus owed to him this week, the Colts apparently felt it was too big of a risk to take.

Now, Colts fans....are pondering life without number 18.

"It's a sad day, I think, to see Peyton leave," said one, "because he's meant so much to the city, and so much to the Colts. But it's just business."

"I think he'll come back with a vengeance, and we'll be hurt," said another.

A number of teams are expected to line up to seek the services of Manning, who's been medically cleared to play. YouTube video surfaced last week purportedly showed him practicing at Duke University.

The Colts are expected to use their number one draft pick on Stanford's Andrew Luck, considered the best quarterback in the draft.

But it's clear whoever takes over for Manning in Indianapolis will have big shoes to fill.