The Indianapolis Colts have suffered through a disappointing season, marred by injuries to Andrew Luck and a miniscule chance to win the AFC South in the final weekend of the season. According to a report, the Colts will make the much speculated move of not brining back head coach Chuck Pagano after the season, assuming they do not make the Playoffs. Pagano's contract expires after this season, so it is a technicality between calling the coaching change a firing and allowing the contract to expire.
According to ESPN's Mike Wells, the Colts' struggles this year, Pagano turning down a contract extension, and the relationship between Pagano and General Manager Ryan Grigson turning "toxic" all led to the decision to fire Pagano. Colts owner Jim Irsay released a statement on Thursday denying any decision had been made: "As of today, no decision has been made with respect to any structural changes within the Colts organization for 2016 and beyond."
Grigson will remain with the Colts through the head coaching search, according to Wells, but could be replaced if the new head coach has a preference in general managers. Essentially, Grigson is expected to take part in the coaching search, but could wind up deciding on a head coach who is then powerful enough for Irsay to fire Grigson and bring in a different GM.
Pagano has a 39-20 record as the head coach of the Colts, leading the team to the AFC Championship game last year. He was hired to be the head coach of the Colts in January 2012. Prior to joining the Colts, Pagano was the defensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens for one season and the secondary coach for the club for the three years before that. He has worked at both NFL and college levels, mostly as a defensive backs and secondary coach, including stints with the University of North Carolina, Oakland Raiders, Cleveland Browns, University of Miami, East Carolina, UNLV, and Boise State.
The Colts will join the Miami Dolphins, Tennessee Titans, and Philadelphia Eagles as teams already known to be looking for a head coach for next year.