INDIANAPOLIS – The trash bags had stayed stored away for longer than nearly every other NFL team.
On Monday though, the Colts joined 29 other teams in cleaning out their lockers and beginning their offseasons.
Only one team in the NFL gets to cherish the moment of emptying out their lockers following the season's end.
Players were hoping their lockers would stay filled for another two weeks but the book on the 2014 Colts closed for good late on Sunday night.
"This is probably one of the only jobs where I can say a vacation is not good when you're not ready, but it's part of it. We understand it," Reggie Wayne said on Monday.
"We knew when we signed our name on the dotted line, this is a possibility. It's just the way it goes, the nature of the beast."
While the sting of Sunday's AFC Championship loss was still potent on Monday afternoon, the big picture of 2014 should not be forgotten.
The Colts recorded their third straight 11-win season and won a consecutive AFC South Title.
Productive steps have been taken in each of Chuck Pagano's first three seasons and that was once again the case in 2014.
After losing in the Divisional Round of the playoffs last season, the Colts went on the road and captured their first playoff victory away from home since the 2007 playoffs.
The ultimate goal remains hoisting that Lombardi Trophy, which remains the driving force as the Colts embark on another offseason.
"The suddenness of it is, it hits you," Andrew Luck said on Monday.
"It's like all your energy, all your adrenaline is sort of zapped. You lose a bit of sense of purpose in what you're doing, and obviously you regain it, it comes back, but for the first couple of days it's weird. It really is, and there's really no way to prepare for it."
It will be an interesting offseason for the Colts with the NFL Combine getting things started less than a month away right here in Indianapolis (February 17-23).
Veterans Reggie Wayne, Cory Redding and Matt Hasselbeck are entering free agency. The retirement questions will obviously come up for all three.
The Colts will draft at the No. 29 spot in the 2015 NFL Draft starting on April 30.
Next year, the Colts home slate is as follows: Houston, Jacksonville, Tennessee, New England, New York Jets, New Orleans, Tampa Bay and Denver
The 2015 Colts will travel to: Houston, Jacksonville, Tennessee, Buffalo, Miami, Atlanta, Carolina and Pittsburgh.
For the next three months, the players will get away from the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center and begin their offseason.
OTAs for the Colts are expected to begin around April 20 when teams with returning coaches can get their offseason programs underway.