The Indianapolis Colts have agreed to a new contract with Chuck Pagano, opting to keep the head coach in place despite numerous reports that Pagano would out after this season. Pagano's contract was up after 2015 and with the Colts missing the playoffs, many in the media speculated that the coach would not return for the 2016 season.
The Colts announced the news on Monday about Pagano, who said the new contract made it the "the best day of my life." According to Bob Kravitz of WTHR.com, both Pagano and general manager Ryan Grigson will return after reports came out last week that one of both of the two could be gone for 2016. The Colts missed the playoffs this season and that drove the speculation about the future for Pagano, who reportedly has had issues with Grigson in the past.
Owner Jim Irsay announced that Pagano and Grigson are "tied at the hip" moving forward and that Grigson received a three-year extension. Grigson had one year left on his deal and with Pagano getting a four year deal, the two are signed through the 2019 season. The Colts have had a tough season while dealing with injuries to Andrew Luck and the team ended up firing offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton during the season.
Pagano's future was up in the air for most of the season and after meeting with ownership, the Colts decided to keep Pagano with a new deal. The Colts went just 8-8 this season and dealt with Luck being out for most of the year, which led to the team missing the playoffs for the first time since 2011. Pagano has won 41 games during his four seasons in Indianapolis and now the team can move forward knowing that Pagano and Grigson are in place for a number of years in the future.
The team has pressing concerns heading into the offseason, as Luck could be signed to a contract extension, while players like Dwayne Allen, Coby Fleener, Adam Vinatieri and Anthony Castonzo are free agents. Allen dealt with injuries this season and made just 16 catches in 13 games, while Fleener finished the year with 54 catches for 491 yards. Vinatieri had another solid season and could return, while Castonzo is also a potential option to come back.
Luck is coming off of his worst season as a pro and there is a chance the Colts could try and sign the quarterback to an extension this offseason. According to ESPN.com, Luck said to the media that signing a deal "would be great" and it comes after owner Jim Irsay said last year that the team wants to try and sign Luck before he gets close to free agency.