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UPDATE: Colts tap Eagles exec for general manager's job

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Ryan Grigson is a big man walking into a big job in Indianapolis.

The former offensive lineman was hired Wednesday as the new general manager of the Indianapolis Colts, a franchise facing some of the biggest questions in its long, storied history. He will have to make a quick decision about whether to keep coach Jim Caldwell, and then whether to build next season's team around four-time league MVP Peyton Manning or probable No. 1 draft pick Andrew Luck.

And it's the first time he's had this kind of power in the NFL.

Grigson has spent the past nine years with Philadelphia, where he was named director of player personnel in 2010 after four years as college scouting director. He fit the profile owner Jim Irsay wanted after firing vice chairman Bill Polian and his son, Chris, the Colts' GM, last week once the Colts had wrapped up a dismal 2-14 season that Manning missed completely as he recovers from Sept. 8 neck surgery.

The 39-year-old Grigson will not have the same high profile or carry as much clout as Bill Polian did when he turned the Colts from a perennial also-ran into a perennial playoff team.

But that's not what Irsay was looking for. Instead, Irsay, a former GM himself, brought in somebody with an Indiana background.

Before a back injury forced him to retire in 1997, Grigson was making his name as a prep player in Highland in northwest Indiana and as a captain at Purdue University. As a Boilermaker, he also survived a life-threatening illness that occurred after a blow to the abdomen during his junior season.

A relative who answered the phone in Highland said the family was "extremely excited" but had been asked to wait to make additional comments until after an afternoon news conference to introduce Grigson.

In 1999, Grigson was hired by the St. Louis Rams as a national scout, helping the Rams win a Super Bowl title in his first season with the team. In 2001, the Rams promoted Grigson to area scout, a position he held until joining the Eagles as a regional scout in 2004. The Eagles went to the Super Bowl in his first season in Philly, too. He became the director of college scouting in 2006 before earning his next promotion in 2010.

Now he has one of the toughest jobs in football.

Right at the top, he must decide whether to keep Caldwell, who won the AFC title in 2009 and the AFC South crown in 2010.

Then comes the decision about Manning, who is owed a $28 million bonus by March 8 or he will become an unrestricted free agent. And then he must decide what to do with a host of other big-name players whose contracts have expired. The list includes former Pro Bowlers Robert Mathis, Jeff Saturday and Reggie Wayne, who are all now in their 30s.




Grigson played tight end and offensive tackle for Purdue from 1991-94. He was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the sixth round in 1995 and spent one season as an NFL player with the Detroit Lions. He also spent one season with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League before suffering a career-ending back injury.

After his playing career, Grigson had stints as a scout for Saskatchewan of the CFL, as an assistant coach at McPherson College in Kansas, and as player personnel coordinator and assistant coach for the Buffalo Destroyers of the Arena Football League.
 

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  • Love it
    I love this pick, and cannot wait til draft day!
  • So What
    It was a foregone conclusion that the Colts needed to get the first pick in the draft. As a result, Caldwell was doing exactly what he was told by the owner and the GM. The mistake was not accepting that Manning is finished as a top tier player. The impact of the surgery performed on Manning must have been thoroughly explained to Manning and the Colts, so the delay finding Manning's replacement must have been pushed out to the draft, rather than announce the impact that specific surgery would mean to Manning in a high impact sport such as professional football. Don't get me wrong, I think Peyton Manning has an unbelievable talent, I just fear for his personal safety if he goes back on the field and gets hit hard enough to dislodged the cervical spine repair.
  • Interesting
    Hopefully this guy has the eye for talent that he appears to have...Deshawn Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Brent Celek, LeSean McCoy, and a good O line...as for the thing with Vick, the Eagles backed themselves into a corner there by offering him a job when he got out of prison...when you do that, you are already saying that if he gets a chance and does well, you have stolen his services for a couple of years and you or someone else is going to pay him large after that. The Eagles GM had to re-sign Vick, because they can't let him go to say...the Redskins or the Cowboys, and then by some miracle Vick wins a Super Bowl while the Eagles don't...the GM gets fired then. That is why the Colts can't not take Andrew Luck...If he ends up being Alex Smith, the GM still has 4-5 years to draft around him or find a coach like Harbaugh who can make him serviceable, but if he ends up being another Peyton, somewhere else, the GM is an idiot and gets fired. I am glad he is an Indiana guy as well...let's get going on turning around the Colts!
  • Good choice
    At first glance, it appears as though the Colts have landed someone who is experienced, yet is young enough that maybe we're catching someone who is on the way "up". It will be interesting to see how fast the initial moves come out with regard to Caldwell and the player moves - before the draft.

    Reggie McKenzie moved quickly in Oakland and made it clear he was hiring his own guy. Caldwell is nice enough, but if YOUR job is on the line as GM, I can't argue that it makes sense to work with someone you trust and fits with what you want to accomplish. Caldwell might be that guy, but I suspect we're going to see a LOT of interesting moves between now and the Combine. GO Colts!
  • GM Hiring
    Nice to see someone with ties to Indiana leading the Colts. Hopefully he doesn't make some of the mistakes the Eagles made this offseason with their "dream team" and the extension of Vick.

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