Signs point to Dungy retiring

While football and its fans await official word from Colts coach Tony Dungy about his future in the NFL, there have been repeated signals today that this is it, the end.

Dungy has shut off his cell phone — something he never does on Mondays according to those who know him — so as to prevent contact from the outside world.

He has failed to contact some of the people he knows well who advanced to this weekend’s conference championship games, something the thoughtful Dungy never has done in the past.

He has brought his wife back with him to Indianapolis, and if memory serves, she was not there last year at the press conference in which he announced he was returning to the Colts for another season.

And then there are the comments he made just last month. Shortly before he sat down for an NFL Network interview, Dungy revealed that, in each of the past five Decembers, he thought he would be retiring from the game. But then, shortly after the season, he would take some time off, think about his decision and come to the conclusion that it was best to return.

He repeated less than a month ago that he thought he would be retiring again. So something would have had to change his mind in the past month and there has been no indication that anything has. If anything, his annual decision on his future, which will be announced at a press conference at 5 p.m. today, seemed to come quicker than normal.

Surveying various NFL executives and people who know Dungy all has yielded the same result: everyone thinks he is finished with football. The official word comes later today.

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