There is still ample reason to believe, however, that Pagano will enter the season on the proverbial hot seat despite guiding his team deeper into the playoffs in each of the past two years.
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport told NFL Total Access' Scott Hanson on Wednesday that Pagano is in a "make-or-break" year after rejecting "a couple of one-year extensions" from the Colts.
Rapoport's update came in response to a report from WTHR's Bob Kravitz outlining a "growing disconnect" between Pagano and general manager Ryan Grigson.
These divergences of vision are far from uncommon in the NFL. The front office is charged with looking at the big picture while the coaching staff tends to rely on veterans they can trust rather than unproven younger players.
In this case, Grigson was in the right. Pagano's loyalty to a long-time crony -- while admirable on a personal level -- sabotaged the Colts' offense down the stretch last season.
Pagano, meanwhile, showed tangible improvement as an in-game strategist last year, winning a series of increasingly aggressive gambles in key situations.
So where does that leave the head coach's standing within the organization?
In other words, he realizes he's sitting on a full house and has pushed all of his chips to the center of the table.
Barring a catastrophic collapse in a conference with flawed super powers, Pagano will cash in next offseason.