The core group of players for the Indianapolis Colts is getting old – very old by NFL standards.

Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark are both 31, but they haven't showed their age on the field yet.

Peyton Manning, Jeff Saturday, Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark, Ryan Diem, Dwight Freeney, and Gary Brackett are all in their 30s and Robert Mathis will join the 30 club in February.

Each player has at least seven NFL seasons under his belt – all with the Colts.

A 35-year-old center, a 34-year-old quarterback, a 31-year-old wide receiver, and a 30-year-old speed rusher … this group must be taking a slide on the back end of the bell curve, right?

Not yet.

Despite offseason knee surgery, Saturday was ready for Week 1 and is still anchoring the offensive line.

Manning is completing 67.6 percent of his passes, has a 102.2 quarterback rating, and has thrown 11 touchdowns to two interceptions.

Wayne and Clark each lead their respective positions in receptions, while Freeney and Mathis have already combined for seven sacks and three forced fumbles.

Think what you may about Colts president Bill Polian, you don’t win a minimum of 12 game

s for seven-straight seasons by accident.

Over the years, Polian has done an incredible job of keeping his big guns in Indianapolis. That said, some very tough decisions lie ahead.

Manning’s contract expires after this season and he will be resigned, that’s a no-brainer. But it will be interesting to see how Polian handles some of the other veterans.

Wayne and Mathis were already grumbling about their contracts this offseason and in 2011, the final year of those contracts, they will be making even less than they are now. Holdouts seem imminent.

It’s no coincidence that the Colts drafted speed-rusher Jerry Hughes in April and selected a wide receiver in each of the three drafts prior to that.

Gary Brackett recently signed a back-loaded five-year contract that balloons in 2012. Shortly after, the Colts drafted middle linebacker Pat Angerer in the second round.

While Polian has managed to keep most of his stars in house, he hasn’t hesitated to show the door to other big-name players who were nearing the end of their careers – Edgerrin James and Marvin Harrison being the most recent examples.

Colts fans should expect nothing less moving forward. Polian’s personnel decisions aren’t always popular but he has proven time and time again that he knows what’s best for the franchise.

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