The Peyton Manning era is over in Indiannapolis.
And while it seemed likely, based on the house-cleaning that new GM Ryan Grigson has undertaken, now we know that Peyton knows.
They're sweeping away everything and anything from the Peyton Manning era.
Because when you think Colts, you think Peyton.
And, while many of us hope against hope that Peyton hasn't played his final snap in the NFL, even up until a few weeks ago, there was a hope that he would take that next snap as a member of the Colts.
Peyton, finally healed, breaking the huddle and walking up behind Jeff Saturday, taking a minute to scan the defense, calling an audible to a Dallas Clark slant and bending down to take the snap.
It's almost pornographic how much I miss it.
But with quotes like these, the likelihood is that the only thing that remains for Peyton in Indy is an uncomfortable sit down with owner Jim Irsay and a decade of great memories.
And that's sad.
More sad than Petyon not playing another NFL snap is him not doing it in a Colts uniform.
Maybe I'm a sucker for things like that. I hated to see Joe Montana in a Chiefs uni. I hated Brett Favre as a Viking or LT2 as a Jet or Jerry Rice as a Raider/Bronco. I hated seeing Olin Kreutz as a Saint for the five minutes he was one.
Hell, the very thought of Tom Brady in any uniform other than the Patriots makes me want to burn down a Circle K and punch your grandmother in the face.
And yes, that's a provincial, tribal way to look at it. Talent does wane, bodies give out and sometimes teams don't want to pay the same or more for a lesser product.
Drew Brees just threw for 16,425 feet in one season and he still doesn't have a long term deal.
Why? Because of the "long term" part.
20 million for next year? No problem. 24 million in 2016? Ummm...can we get an xray of your neck please?
But Peyton. Peyton was the most dominant player of the last decade.
A colossus on the field, so feared that the mighty Patriots went for it on fourth down inside their 30, like an insane Madden play, just to try to keep the ball out of his hands.
They knew they couldn't stop him.
Still, Peyton goes to work every day, and watches his Colts family crumble before his eyes.
I know. And you know.
And now, he knows, too.
There is some hope in this story, though.
Because Peyton is a tireless worker, and while his body may have let him down, his brain is sharper than ever.
And now, he has some tristeza to fuel his comeback.
How good will he be if and when he lands? It's a bleak outlook from all I've read, but it's not impossible. So I'm going to hang my hat on that and keep rooting for Peyton.
And a word to the Colts, who are busy preparing for the second coming of Peyton Manning in the bodt of Andrew Luck:
I'd walk pretty gingerly around Peyton if I were you. Because he's done it. He has been and always will be a Colt. He is tied to your organization forever.
But Andrew Luck hasn't played a snap in the NFL and no matter how many times I hear the term "sure thing" attached to him, I always remember:
In the NFL, there's no such thing as a sure thing.
Peyton Manning is as close to a sure thing as we've ever seen. And whether or not he returns, it's a sure thing that Peyton will be around.
He'll be great on TV. He's the greatest pitchman in NFL history. He's hysterical. He's smart. He's good on camera.
Peyton will be ubiquitous. A long and prosperous TV career awaits.
So it's in the Colts best interests to tread lightly with the old lion. Based on what we read in Bob Kravitz's article, there are a lot of things happening in the Colts organization that he doesn't like or approve of.
And a year ago, that would have really meant something.