The Indianapolis Colts have decided to retain general manager Ryan Grigson despite speculation that he would be fired after a shaky 2015 season. The Colts also announced that head coach Chuck Pagano agreed to a four-year contract extension to remain with the team.
"They're going forward together," Irsay said. "Chuck made a point of that unsolicited alone in my office. I had no problem with that. These are our guys. These guys are ready. There's been a lot reported, a lot written. I know what the reality is, and this is definitely what's best for the Indianapolis Colts going forward. I'm sure of that."
Irsay offered high praise to Grigson in a press conference announcing the news, via Gregg Doyel of the Indy Star: "Bill Polian's gone to the Hall of Fame, and Ryan (Grigson) has outdone him through four years."
Grigson, 43, took over as the general manager in 2012 and immediately instituted an aggressive plan to rebuild the roster quickly around quarterback Andrew Luck.
He orchestrated several major trades to varying degrees of success—sending a second-round pick to the Miami Dolphins for cornerback Vontae Davis was an excellent move, while trading a first-round pick to the Cleveland Browns for running back Trent Richardson was disastrous—and has used free agency to add veterans to the roster.
The Colts were particularly active in free agency before the 2015 season, signing veterans Trent Cole, Frank Gore, Todd Herremans, Nate Irving, Andre Johnson, Kendall Langford and Dwight Lowery.
However, the 8-8 Colts struggled throughout the year—in part because of Luck's injury issues—and several of the signings, most notably Johnson, failed to make a major impact.
While Grigson drafted several good players, including wide receiver T.Y. Hilton and offensive lineman Jack Mewhort, he failed to build a solid offensive line around Luck.
Nonetheless, the Colts continue to believe in Grigson and his ability to construct a postseason roster. Luck's health was a major factor in the team's poor play in 2015, something the front office likely considered when evaluating Grigson.
If the team underachieves next year, however, the organization's patience with its general manager may finally run out.