Pagano’s exit not as swift as many predicted

If you’re Chuck Pagano, no news can only be good news.

It means he still has a job, at least for one more day.

Despite heavy speculation owner Jim Irsay would make a swift — and Draconian — decision about Pagano’s fate, that did not happen Monday.

Instead, Irsay and Pagano reportedly met throughout mid-afternoon and into the evening, a signal that Pagano’s firing was not — is not? — a fait accompli.

Maybe, just maybe, he will return for a fifth season as head coach.

If that happens, it will defy conventional wisdom his fate already was sealed. Not for finishing 8-8. Not for missing the playoffs. But for not winning the Super Bowl.

Talk about a rigid mandate.

National and local media outlets have reported for weeks that Pagano would be fired at season’s end if the Colts didn’t contend for a championship — which they didn’t.

Instead, they barely contended for the AFC South title, fell short in that bid and missed the playoffs for the first time in three seasons. Surely, as predicted, Pagano would bear the instant brunt of Irsay’s wrath.

But he didn’t.

Pagano still had a job as of Monday night.

One can only surmise that Pagano, as he vowed to do, made an impassioned plea to keep his job, and Irsay listened with an open mind. Had it gone down any other way, an announcement likely would have been swift, and the outcome would not have been good for Pagano.

But an announcement did not come swiftly. Pagano has not been fired (yet), and maybe this drama will have a surprise ending.

Maybe, just maybe, nobody gets fired.

Sound crazy?

Or course it does. But Irsay likely has warm feelings for Pagano and embattled general manager Ryan Grigson. And it’s possible Irsay is exploring all avenues, including the possibility or repairing what has been widely reported as a toxic relationship between Pagano and Grigson, before firing anyone.

Although that’s a highly unlikely scenario, it’s probably one that Irsay has at least considered. Because he no doubt knows what the rest of us know, that players support Pagano, that fans loathe Grigrson, and from their perspective if someone needs firing, it’s Grigson and not Pagano.

But so far, nobody has been fired. Not Grigson. Not Pagano.

And if you’re Pagano, no news on Monday was definitely good news.

Rick Morwick is sports editor for the Daily Journal of Johnson County, a sister paper of The Republic. Send comments to