As reported by the Indianapolis Colts’ Twitter feed, the team has agreed to an extension with head coach Chuck Pagano. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport is also reporting that the Colts are retaining General Manager Ryan Grigson in addition to Pagano. The announcement comes as a huge surprise, as both Pagano and Grigson were expected to be fired as the Colts slumped to an 8-8 record this season.
Pagano and Grigson have come under fire because the Colts have a premiere quarterback, Andrew Luck, who is on a cost-controlled rookie contract — an extremely valuable contract that presumably frees up the Colts to be significantly improved at other positions. Luck has averaged 269.8 yards per game over his first four NFL seasons, which is the fifth-best mark of all-time among first four NFL seasons, trailing only Marc Bulger, Dan Marino, Matthew Stafford, and leader Kurt Warner.
The Colts have picked up a $16.1 team option for the 2016 season, with Luck currently scheduled to be a free agent after that season. This represents a huge leap over Luck’s 2015 cap figure, which was $7.03 million. Indianapolis will need to become increasingly resourceful if they intend to keep a contending team around Luck as his price escalates with impending free agency.