The Indianapolis Colts tonight announced the stunning news that head coach Chuck Pagano has signed a contract extension, and it sounds like that's not even the most surprising part: general manager Ryan Grigson will also be returning to work with Pagano.
NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reports that Grigson will be back, and the fact that Jim Irsay, Ryan Grigson, and Chuck Pagano will all hold a joint press conference tonight should indicate as much. But that's not all: according to ESPN's Adam Caplan, the Colts also want to sign Grigson to a long-term extension as well.
#Colts also want to extend contract of GM Ryan Grigson, who has one year left on his deal.— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) January 5, 2016
Grigson, as Caplan notes, still has one year remaining on his contract, but it sounds like the Colts want to extend that to keep him around longer. The real surprising part of this news comes from the fact that it now seems like Grigson and Pagano will be working together for the foreseeable future. Of course, we heard all season about how dysfunctional the organization was and how bad things had gotten between Grigson and Pagano, and there was a lot of truth to those reports - things were bad. So it's very, very interesting that the two will now be coming back to work together.
I think that there must be some agreement in place in which Ryan Grigson will back off some and give Chuck Pagano more say, allowing him to focus more on coaching and allowing Grigson to focus more on personnel. It seems as if Jim Irsay would be taking a gamble on whether that could work out, however. It would make sense, then, for the Colts to bring Pagano back on a one-year deal to have one last year with Grigson and see if it could work, but we don't know the details of Pagano's contract and it sounds as if the Colts are intent on extending Grigson. This, then, seems to be a huge gamble on the part of Irsay in hoping that Grigson and Pagano can get things figured out and work well together.
UPDATE: Owner Jim Irsay confirmed a contract extension for Ryan Grigson, and though he didn't offer any details, it sure sounds like Grigson is extended through the 2019 season (the next four years) just like Chuck Pagano. Irsay said that Grigson is "contractually tied" with Pagano, likely meaning that Grigson has received a three-year extension on top of the year that was already remaining on his deal.