The Indianapolis Colts have reportedly fired general manager Ryan Grigson, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter and league sources. Colts owner Jim Irsay originally said after the season that he didn’t anticipate any staff changes in the front office. That, obviously, has changed.
The Colts’ poorly built roster finally cost Ryan Grigson his job as general manager.https://t.co/HZUdtdMase— SB Nation NFL (@SBNationNFL) January 21, 2017
The Colts finished 8-8 for the second straight year and with a quarterback like Andrew Luck and in a division like the AFC South, that’s unacceptable. And if you want to defend Grigson, simply look at the Colts defense.
Outside of drafting Luck with the No. 1 overall pick in his first draft in 2012, Grigson and the Colts missed on a lot of picks. T.Y. Hilton, a third-round pick in Luck’s draft class, developed into a deep threat, but that’s really the only other hit Grigson produced.
Bjoern Werner was the team’s next first-round pick in 2013. Werner was a defensive end who had 6.5 sacks in three NFL seasons. He’s now out of the league. The following year, the Colts didn’t have a first-round pick because they traded it to the Browns for running back Trent Richardson. Richardson played 29 games with the Colts, before being released after averaging just 3.1 yards per carry in his two seasons with the team.
As far as free agency, the Colts decided to plug in veterans to try to have a quick fix and “win now” as is often done in the NFL. Gosder Cherilus, LaRon Landry, Ricky Jean Francois, Erik Walden, Donald Thomas, and Matt Hasselbeck all received contracts that were at least $3 million per year.
The majority of those moves were made to improve the defense, and all but Walden and Hasselbeck were cut after just two seasons. Walden remains with the team, and Hasselbeck retired.
The Colts defense ranked 30th this season, and they kept surrendering big plays. Indianapolis could not stop the pass or run, and its offense had to keep scoring points to keep up with opponents. The offense has largely held its own since Luck’s arrival, but it’s tough when the defense never gives them a cushion.
The combination of poor drafting, and an inability to build a contender through free agency is a recipe for disaster, and it’s led many to feel that some of Luck’s best years have been wasted. It’s easy to understand why Grigson is gone, when a quarterback like Luck is having his career affected by anything other than his play.