The Colts announced that they have agreed to extensions with head coach Chuck Pagano and GM Ryan Grigson. It’s a shocking turn of events after weeks of speculation indicated that Pagano would be shown the door after the 2015 season with Grigson likely to follow.
Pagano, whose contract was set to expire, gets a four-year extension that will keep him in place through 2019. Grigson, whose previous contract called for him to stay on board through 2016, will get a three-year extension to line up with his coach. In a late Monday night press conference, owner Jim Irsay said that Pagano and Grigson are now “contractually tied.”
After helping lead the Colts to playoff berths in his first three years with the team, Pagano’s club fell short this season during an injury-riddled, tumultuous campaign. After guiding the team to an 8-8 finish, the Colts were widely expected to let go of Pagano, whose contract is up. However, despite the down season and reported friction between him and team execs, Pagano will return to the team for 2016.
After finishing with an 11-5 record and an AFC South crown for three straight seasons, the Colts entered 2015 with Super Bowl aspirations, but took a significant step backward. While the Colts’ struggles could be attributed, at least in part, to injuries and questionable roster construction, Pagano was already under pressure to win heading into the year, with the team offering him only a one-year extension rather than any sort of longer-team deal — he turned down that offer. Pagano holds a 41-23 record during his four years in Indianapolis, which includes the time he missed in 2012 due to cancer treatments.
Grigson, meanwhile, has come under fire for a number of moves over the years, including a 2013 blockbuster that went awry. Roughly two years ago, Grigson sent a 2014 first-rounder to Cleveland for running back Trent Richardson, who spent two unproductive seasons in Indy and is now out of the NFL. Beyond that, Grigson has also meddled in the affairs of Pagano and many believed that the two would not be able to co-exist much longer. Alas, both men will be keeping their jobs for next season.
Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter) first reported that Grigson would also be receiving an extension. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.