Earlier this afternoon, NFL Media's Ian Rapoport mentioned the somewhat significant news that the Indianapolis Colts will not extend head coach Chuck Pagano's contract entering the final year of his deal.
It sounds like there's more to the story, however.
According to Dianna Marie Russini of NBC4 in Washington D.C., the Colts actually did offer Chuck Pagano an extension, but he turned it down because it was a one-year offer with "very moderate" pay increase.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Sources indicate to me that Pagano has been offered a 1 year extension at a very modest increase, something he won't do. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Colts?src=hash">#Colts</a></p>— Dianna Marie Russini (@NBCdianna) <a href="https://twitter.com/NBCdianna/status/581180546396643328">March 26, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Basically, here's what this means, if true: Chuck Pagano is banking on himself and his team in 2015. He feels like he can earn a more long-term deal worth substantially more money, and he's right. This Colts team looks to be legitimate Super Bowl contenders, and if Pagano manages to lead them to the game's ultimate stage, the Colts will have to pay up on a longer-team deal worth significant money. With Andrew Luck at quarterback, a general manager who is being very aggressive at pursuing a title, and a team that should be improved from a year ago, it's not as risky of a decision as it may initially seem.
At the same time, however, here's the flip side: Pagano is opening himself up to a potential down season after which the Colts decide to move on from him. Of course, even with a new contract the team could opt to fire him, but this decision comes with much less financial security.
There really aren't any signs right now that point to a divorce coming between the Colts and Pagano, as the team not extending him yet doesn't mean they're unhappy with what he's accomplished, while him turning down the team doesn't mean that he's ready to get out of Indianapolis. Rather, the Colts not offering him a long-term extension yet is just them acknowledging that 2015 will be a huge year both for Pagano and for his team, while the coach reportedly not accepting a one-year extension is just him acknowledging that he thinks he can earn a much larger deal. Hopefully, both sides will end up happy as they pursue the Lombardi Trophy in 2015.