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Making it Official – Colts Release Harrison After Last Effort to Keep Him Fails

It was a tough day as a Colts fan, or a fan of one of the most prolific passing combos in the history of the game. Peyton Manning to Marvin Harrison is no more. The greatest receiver in Colts history is now looking for work.

The Colts today made the release of Harrison official, as the eight-time Pro Bowler was shown the door after speculation that he would not take a pay cut to stay with the team that saw him make so many huge plays over the course of his career.

Reports say that the Colts tried a last ditch effort to keep Harrison, but could not come to an agreement with Harrison’s agent, Tom Condon, on a restructured contract. Condon said Monday the Colts agreed to release his client after the two sides could not agree on a restructured contract. But Colts owner Jim Irsay was hopeful a deal could be struck Tuesday.

Alas, there was no agreement and Harrison, the franchise’s touchdown leader (127), is without a job.

“You know this day is coming, but it’s not a day you look forward to,” Irsay said. “It’s very seldom that retirement lines up with the team and a player goes out at the same time. I wanted to make sure I had a chance to talk to Marvin one last time this afternoon and really thoroughly go through a lot of things together. I know he wishes to go forward and pursue opportunities in the National Football League still, something we are doing in our granting his release.”

Harrison set the single-season receptions mark with 143 in 2002. With that though, Harrison’s best years are behind him, and the 36-year-old is scheduled to make $9 million in 2009, clearly too much money for a team with Reggie Wayne and Anthony Gonzalez.

Cutting Harrison saves Indianapolis nearly $7 million. Irsay did say that given the salary cap, Harrison’s release is something that has become status quo this time of year.

“He’s an individual who most of you did not have a chance to see how hard he worked,” Irsay said. “His connection with Peyton Manning, how those guys hooked up in ’98 and began the journey and together, set records that will be talked about many many years from now.”

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