I was wrong. I thought Irsay and Manning would find a way to keep #18 in Indy, at least for one more year (see here). But it didn't happen. Today, the Colts officially released Manning (see here), who, if he can complete his recovery from several neck surgeries, will finish his career with another team. That seems wrong. But it is hardly unusual (think Unitas playing for the Chargers, Montana for the Chiefs, Favre for the Vikings, etc.). It's just a fact of life in the NFL, which is after all a business.
If Manning comes back healthy, he may be better off on a team other than the Colts, which have a lot weaknesses; even the owner admits that it will take them a few years to become competitive again. If Andrew Luck works out for the Colts as virtually everyone (myself include) believes he will, then this is probably as good a time as any for them to part company from Manning. A lot of ifs. But life's like that.
At the joint news conference announcing Manning's release, Manning said what was most important for all Colts fans to hear: "I will always be a Colt."