Indianapolis Colts make heartbreaking but necessary decision to release Peyton Manning

Nobody — nobody — wanted it to end this way.

Not you or me. Not Indianapolis Colts fans, who are sure to be divided — many of them irate — about the franchise’s decision to part ways with Peyton Manning. Not Manning himself. Not owner Jim Irsay, who undoubtedly will be the recipient of the aforementioned fan ire. Not Indianapolis Star columnist Bob Kravitz, who was among the first (if not the first) to opine that parting ways with Manning was the only decision that made sense for the franchise and subsequently became an easy target for angry Colts fans as someone who was running the four-time MVP out of town.

Nobody wanted it to end this way.

But it must.

With the official announcement — a joint one — that the Colts will release Manning after 14 seasons with the club coming at noon today, the news we’ve been expecting really hits home. And it hits home hard — for many reasons. But as heartbreaking as it might be to see the departure of someone who essentially put football on the map in Indiana, there was just no way around it.

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