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Madden always expected a ‘perfect’ ending for Peyton Manning

The Indianapolis Colts have called a news conference for 9 a.m. PT Wednesday to announce the release of quarterback Peyton Manning, the centerpiece of their organization for 14 seasons and in many ways the face of the NFL.

Both Colts owner Jim Irsay and Manning will participate.

It’s a sad end to an era for many people, among them John Madden, who told The Times he cannot envision Manning in another uniform.

“Some guys deserve a happy ending, and he does,” Madden said by phone. “Like Roger Staubach and the Cowboys, Troy Aikman and the Cowboys, Bob Griese and Dan Marino in Miami, Jim Kelly in Buffalo. Great quarterbacks that got to play their entire career with one team. I kind of thought Peyton was that guy.

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“Peyton was always perfect. Guys that are perfect, things kind of end up for them. You think of the other side, and they’re not always happy endings. You think of Joe Namath at the end, Johnny Unitas at the end, Hall of Fame quarterbacks that ended up in other places – Brett Favre and Joe Montana.... Maybe that’s old-fashioned thinking, but you just hope that these guys that have great careers will have happy endings.

“To me, a happy ending is staying with one team, where you associate that guy with that team.”

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