Look, I don't know if Peyton Manning will ever wear the Big Horseshoe again. I don't think even the guy who'll ultimately make the decision, Jim Irsay, knows.
What I do know is what I read, and what I read is this. Which sounds an awful lot like a man who knows the curtain is drawing down fast on a nearly unmatched career.
Key quote: "It's been a privilege to play here."
Not, "It's a privilege to play here." Past tense, as in over.
That may or may not be a clue to what's going to happen anymore than anything we read or surmised or supposed was a clue that Jim Caldwell was going to be retained. But it is instructive, and points to a larger truth.
Which is, time marches on. And it's marching away from Peyton Manning, not in lockstep with him.