SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The Indianapolis Colts announced they’re releasing star quarterback Peyton Manning, whose neck injury sidelined him last season.

“It’s kind of a sad day for me,” John Madden told the KCBS morning crew, saying he hoped a full recovery will allow Manning to play for another team.

“Peyton is the real deal. There’s no phony in that guy,” Madden said. “If he can’t be 100 percent, and if he can’t know that every time he goes out there he has a better chance to win than not, he’s not going to go out there.”

In the aftermath of the NFL investigation into the New Orleans Saints bounty system that allegedly paid players to knock opponents out of a game, Madden said he’d like to see the referee watch the quarterback exclusively.

Right now the referee is also responsible for monitoring part of the offensive line.

“If players are going to go after other players, how and where do they do it?” Madden asked. “We have to protect those areas. Hitting the quarterback after he throws the ball or hands off is one of the places that you know that they go after them.” (7:45)

Listen to the John Madden segment live weekday mornings at 8:15 on KCBS All News 740 AM/106.9 FM.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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