NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora and Michael Lombardi are stationed in the NFL Media newsroom Monday as they track all the coach, front-office and player movement following the final day of the regular season. Watch NFL Network and check back with this blog for the latest.
A 13-game losing streak had Colts owner Jim Irsay contemplating change within the organization, and those changes began in a big way Monday with the dismissal of vice chairman Bill Polian and general manager Chris Polian.
“He has a great sense of loyalty to Bill Polian for all the things he’s accomplished, but at the end of the day, he felt he needed to go in a new direction,” Lombardi said.
Though no announcement has been made, Lombardi and La Canfora agree that coach Jim Caldwell also will be let go as the team rebuilds from the top down.
La Canfora believes this is the strongest sign yet that the Colts might be ready to move on from Peyton Manning.
“This to me is not just about the Polians. To me, it’s about the end of the Peyton Manning era,” La Canfora said. “I don’t think you make this move, then keep Peyton Manning at $35 million. You have the first overall pick, you’re looking at the chance to start again.”
Lombardi emphasized what a massive decision this was by Irsay.
“When you fire the general manager, it’s like firing the recruiting coordinator in college football,” he said. “You’re going to change the dynamic of your football team, and I just wonder which direction Jim Irsay is going to go in.”
With the Polians gone, the stage could be set for a complete reboot in Indy. A stunning development to be sure.