- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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Get the helicopter warmed up, Miami Dolphins.
The moment has arrived. It's time for the Dolphins' organization to make their best pitch to soon-to-be free-agent quarterback Peyton Manning.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports the Indianapolis Colts will release Manning and hold a news conference on Wednesday. The deadline to pay Manning a $28 million roster bonus is Thursday, and there was zero chance the Colts would fork over that kind of money for a quarterback who missed the entire 2011 season.
But that won't stop the Dolphins and several other teams for knocking down Manning's door any day now. Miami is projected as one of the favorites. Other teams such as the Arizona Cardinals, Washington Redskins and New York Jets also are rumored to have interest.
The Dolphins and owner Stephen Ross want to make a splash this offseason. They tried everything from helicopter rides to offering big money to head coach Jeff Fisher, who spurned Miami to join the St. Louis Rams. Ross and Co. will try to put their best foot forward again with Manning.
The timing is perfect for Miami. Free agency doesn't start until next Tuesday, which gives the Dolphins time to gauge whether Manning is legitimately interested in coming to Miami. We listed all the reasons why the Dolphins are a great fit here. But if it doesn't work out, Miami still has enough time to transition to Plan B and go after former Green Bay Packers quarterback Matt Flynn in free agency.
Manning, a first-ballot Hall of Famer, is one of the biggest names ever to reach free agency. Business is about to pick up.