Ryan Grigson Fired by Colts: Latest Details, Comments and Reaction

Alec NathanFeatured ColumnistJanuary 21, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 24: Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson looks on before the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 24, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Steelers defeated the Colts 28-7. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Indianapolis Colts relieved general manager Ryan Grigson of his duties Saturday, owner Jim Irsay announced.

ESPN's Adam Schefter first reported the news. 

News of Grigson's dismissal came less than one year after the Colts signed him to a four-year extension through 2019. Head coach Chuck Pagano had inked a four-year extension at the same time, but Irsay stated that "Chuck is our coach for 2017," via the Colts.

Schefter, citing league sources, reported on Sunday morning that the Colts even hired psychologists to help improve the organization, communication and overall relationship between Pagano and Grigson. "The focus primarily was on ways Pagano and Grigson could improve their communication, but ultimately Colts owner Jim Irsay determined the relationship was unworkable and fired Grigson on Saturday."

Schefter added, "According to sources, one person compared the meetings to a couple going to marriage counseling, hoping they could work out their issues with the help of a third party."

Colts punter Pat McAfee offered his take on Grigson's departure:

McAfee later responded (warning: strong language) to NFL Network for citing his position as a reason to discredit his earlier comments regarding Grigson's firing:  

Legendary Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne also commented on the move:

As it turned out, Indianapolis' shortcomings in the personnel department were too much for Grigson to overcome.

For starters, the Colts offensive line was a mess all season. Pagano was forced to shuffle and reshuffle his protections, and the instability resulted in quarterback Andrew Luck's getting sacked 41 times, which tied a career high.

Those numbers would have been bad enough in a vacuum, but they were especially concerning since Luck was limited to seven appearances in 2015, when he suffered a slew of injuries as the result of shoddy play up front.

Beyond the offensive line woes, Grigson also came up short with some of his high-profile draft picks.

Colts Under Ryan Grigson
SeasonRecordPlayoffs
201211-5Lost in Wild Card Round
201311-5Lost in Divisional Round
201411-5Lost AFC Championship Game
20158-8Failed to qualify
20168-8Failed to qualify
Source: Pro-Football-Reference.com

After Indianapolis selected Luck with the first pick in the 2012 draft, Grigson spent a 2013 first-round selection on outside linebacker Bjoern Werner. The Florida State product tallied 6.5 sacks in 38 games over three seasons, and he was waived in March before recently retiring.

Grigson whiffed again in 2015 when he took Miami Hurricanes speedster Phillip Dorsett, ignoring other positional needs even though the Colts already had T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief on the roster.

What Grigson may be most remembered for, however, is his September 2013 trade for running back Trent Richardson. Indianapolis shipped a first-round pick to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for the former No. 3 overall pick, but it waived the former Alabama standout in March 2015 after he mustered just 3.1 yards per carry in a Colts uniform.

Looking ahead, Indianapolis will have to work fast to retool its front office with free agency and the draft approaching.

If recent reports are any indication, Irsay may have a big name in mind when it comes to addressing the GM opening. According to Fox Sports' Jay Glazer, Irsay previously made a "strong push" to hire Peyton Manning as the team's head of football operations.

While the initial recruitment evidently didn't succeed, Glazer reported Jan. 14 that Irsay is "still hopeful" he can bring Manning aboard.

Irsay announced Manning isn't a candidate for the now-vacant GM position, adding that he was "never in the cards," via the Colts.