Ryan Grigson

Browns Announce Front Office Moves

New Browns GM Andrew Berry announced a series of additions, promotions, and title changes on his player personnel staff today.

The entire list can be found here, courtesy of the team’s official website. Some of the moves, like the hiring of Kwesi Adofo-Mensah as vice president of football operations and the addition of former Colts GM Ryan Grigson, have been reported previously.

Grigson, though, finally has a formal title: senior football advisor. He and Berry have a long-standing professional relationship, but Berry said his familiarity with Grigson is not the reason he was brought on board. “[Grigson] is here because I think he is very good,” Berry said. “He has a very established track record as a personnel evaluator from his time in St. Louis at the time, Philly and then obviously, Indianapolis. General Manager experience, rebuilt the Colts into a winner very quickly, Executive of the Year. And that is something that is valuable to me.”

Adofo-Mensah, who spent seven years with the 49ers, will be a part of all roster and strategy decisions and will also assist Berry with day-to-day operations (he is essentially the assistant GM). “I think [Adofo-Mensah] brings a nice blend of both an insider and an outsider perspective to football,” Berry said. “He is humble, high integrity, a continuous learner, true growth mindset and he has fantastic interpersonal and people skills … I think he is really a perfect fit to add to the mix.”

Meanwhile, former assistant director of scouting Glenn Cook, who has been with the Browns since 2016, has been promoted to vice president of player personnel. He will lead the day-to-day operations of the player personnel department, and as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets, Cook will also be in charge of college and pro scouting. He will be assisted by Dan Saganey, the new director of player personnel.

Of course, there are also a number of new-age, analtyics positions. Nate Sterken will serve as the new lead data scientist, Andrew Jackson is the data architect, and Ken Kovash is the vice president of player personnel process and development. Berry has been lauded for the work he has done in his first few months on the job, and his roster looks like one that could compete for a playoff spot in 2020. Today’s moves are another step towards his putting his stamp on the organization.

Browns Add Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, Ryan Grigson To Front Office

The Browns have hired Kwesi Adofo-Mensah as their new vice president of football operations, as ESPN’s Seth Walder was among the first to report (via Twitter). Adofo-Mensah previously served as the director of football research and development with the 49ers, and as Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal writes, he will essentially serve as assistant GM to Andrew Berry.

Adofo-Mensah, a Princeton graduate, adds to the Ivy League talent in the Cleveland front office (Berry is a Harvard grad). Adofo-Mensah spent seven years in the San Francisco organization, and according to his bio, he “led the 49ers’ efforts to develop and implement advanced quantitative methods for game strategy and personnel evaluation” (h/t Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com). He will presumably continue to expand his personnel resume with Cleveland.

In addition to the Adofo-Mensah hiring, the Browns have also hired Ryan Grigson on a full-time basis, per Cabot. The club brought on the former Colts GM in an advisory and consulting role back in February, and it sounded at the time as if the hire would become permanent after the draft. That has now happened, though Grigson’s formal title remains uncertain. He and Berry have a long-standing professional relationship and hold each other in high regard.

One year after being hyped virtually non-stop as a Super Bowl contender, the Browns have mostly flown under the radar this offseason. Though they made several major signings in free agency, and though Berry’s first draft was widely considered to be a successful one, Cleveland is not being talked about to nearly the same degree as it was in 2019. And that probably suits the team just fine. After shoring up the O-line and adding another weapon for Baker Mayfield in tight end Austin Hooper, the Browns may realize their potential just one season after they were supposed to. If Mayfield can return to the form he showed in his rookie campaign, things could get interesting in the AFC North.

Browns Hire Ryan Grigson

Ryan Grigson has joined the Browns and is currently serving in an advisory and consulting role with the team, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com adds that Grigson will likely be hired on a full-time basis after this year’s draft.

Grigson is best known for his tenure as the Colts’ general manager from 2012-16. He earned Executive of the Year honors following his first year at the helm, which saw Indianapolis make the playoffs after going 2-14 the year before (though much of that was due to the presence of rookie QB Andrew Luck, who was a slam-dunk choice for Grigson in his first draft with Indy). While the Colts went 49-31 during Grigson’s five years as GM, they failed to qualify for the playoffs in the final two of those years, and his draft record as a whole was spotty.

He was therefore dismissed in January 2017, and he hooked on with the Browns shortly thereafter. When GM John Dorsey came to town in 2018, he got rid of Grigson, but now Andrew Berry is the Cleveland GM, and he is bringing Grigson back. The two men are very close and hold each other in high regard, per Albert Breer of SI.com (via Twitter). Berry worked under Grigson for four years in Indianapolis, and Grigson worked under Berry with the Browns in 2017, so there is plenty of familiarity there.

Breer adds in a separate tweet that the Browns plan to structure their front office like the Eagles, with one executive heading up scouting, one heading up everything else on the football side of the operation, and both reporting to the GM. Grigson could factor into that framework, especially with his scouting background.

Grigson spent the past two seasons with the Seahawks as a senior football consultant.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC West Rumors: Raiders, Chiefs, Broncos

Despite previous reports to the contrary, the Raiders have not hired former Colts general manager Ryan Grigson, according to Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review Journal (Twitter link). In fact, no deal is considered imminent, as Grigson was simply one of several executives interviewed by Oakland in what Gehlken terms an “information-gathering process.” The Raiders hired former NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock earlier this month, but haven’t made any other notable additions to their front office. The 46-year-old Grigson was fired by the Colts in 2016 after a tumultuous five-year term as GM, and has since worked with the Browns and Seahawks’ front offices.

Here’s more from the AFC West:

  • Now that they’ve been eliminated from the postseason, the Chiefs have a number of offseason issues to address, as Joel Corry of CBSSports.com details. Over the Cap currently projects Kansas City to enter the new league year with roughly $36MM in available cap space, which ranks 15th in the NFL. With those funds, the Chiefs are expected to prioritize extensions for wide receiver Tyreek Hill and defensive lineman Chris Jones, each of whom will be entering their contract years in 2019. Additionally, Kansas City needs to decide on edge rusher Dee Ford: the Chiefs have the option of deploying the franchise tag, while Corry predicts a long-term contract for Ford will cost more than $17MM annually.
  • In his latest mailbag for the Denver Post, Ryan O’Halloran notes the Broncos shouldn’t have any financial restraints as they enter the 2019 free agent market (OTC has Denver with roughly $40.5MM in cap space for next year). While the hiring of new head coach Vic Fangio — a former defensive coordinator — could push the Broncos to add on the defensive side of the ball, Denver is more likely to target offensive players, per O’Halloran.
  • In a pair of pieces, Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area lays out the dire state of the Raiders‘ roster. The only positional group that doesn’t figure to see much change is Oakland’s offensive line, but much of the rest of the club — especially on defense — will likely see turnover.

Raiders To Hire Ryan Grigson

Earlier this week, we heard that the Raiders are considering former Colts GM Ryan Grigson for a front office position. Apparently, it’s already a “done deal,” according to a source who spoke with Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk

Grigson spent five years as the Colts’ GM and he ultimately failed to give Andrew Luck a proper supporting cast or build up the team’s defense. He could be a very helpful sidekick to new Raiders GM Mike Mayock, however, as he leaves the broadcast booth to run a team with Jon Gruden.

It was previously reported that the 49ers were also interested in Grigson, but that’s simply not true, according to Florio’s source. It’s not clear if the 49ers engaged Grigson in conversations or if Grigson’s camp was simply looking to build leverage by leaking word of San Francisco’s supposed interest.

Grigson is best known for his time with the Colts, but he’s spent time with the Browns and Seahawks since his dismissal. His exact role in Oakland is unclear, but he figures to be heavily involved in draft scouting and player evaluation.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

West Rumors: Raiders, Chargers, Broncos

The 49ers aren’t the only club with interest in former Colts general manager Ryan Grigson, as the Raiders also want to speak to the ex-Indy exec about a front office role, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (Twitter link). Oakland is rebuilding its front office after firing general manager Reggie McKenzie and top lieutenant Joey Clinkscales. Grigson would join a front office that now includes first-time GM — and former NFL Network analyst — Mike Mayock, who was hired earlier this week. The 46-year-old Grigson was fired by the Colts in 2016 after a tumultuous five-year term as GM, and has since worked with the Browns and Seahawks’ front offices.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two West divisions:

  • Two of Sean McVay‘s top assistants will take their interviews with the Bengals on Friday. Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor and pass game coordinator/tight ends coach Shane Waldron will meet with Cincinnati ownership tomorrow, tweets Tom Pelissero of NFL.com. Nearly every candidate in which the Bengals have expressed interest thus far have come from the offensive side of the ball, with the only exception being former Broncos head coach (and ex-Cincy defensive backs coach) Vance Joseph. The Bengals were turned down by Josh McDaniels, but they’ve also asked to meet with Bucs OC Todd Monken and Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy, among others. Bieniemy’s interview with the Bengals — originally scheduled for Friday — will now take place on Saturday, tweets Pelissero.
  • After being designated for return from injured reserve and participating in seven-on-seven drills at the end of December, Chargers tight end Hunter Henry took first-team snaps in practice this week, Los Angeles announced. However, Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn still declined to commit to Henry playing against the Ravens in the first round of the NFL postseason, as Eric D. Williams of ESPN.com tweets. If Henry does play, he’ll be on a “pitch count,” meaning fellow tight ends Antonio Gates and Virgil Green will still see time. Henry tore his ACL in May, but Los Angeles held out hope he’d be available if the club made it to the playoffs.
  • Rams center John Sullivan collected a $1MM bonus by being active for at least 15 games and Los Angeles ranking as a top-five scoring offense and making the playoffs, per Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Sullivan, 33, actually started all 16 games for the Rams in 2018, and has started 31 contests since joining the club last offseason. LA’s line was elite in 2018, finishing No. 1 in adjusted line yards and No. 6 in adjusted sack rate, but Sullivan graded as just the NFL’s No. 32 center, per Pro Football Focus. The Rams hold a 2019 option on Sullivan which would pay him $1.75MM in base salary in addition to a $2.5MM roster bonus.
  • Currently being run by a trust headed by team president Joe Ellis, the Broncos are in need of a permanent owner. That’s likely to eventually be Pat Bowlen‘s youngest daughter, Brittany Bowlen, tweets James Palmer of ESPN.com, who notes Brittany will join the organization “at some point.” Bowlen, 28, could potentially take over in 2021 after a new collective bargaining agreement is put into place, speculates Mike Klis of 9News.
  • 49ers left guard Laken Tomlinson suffered a torn MCL on Sunday, according to a team announcement. That’s relatively good news since the longtime starter was carted off of the field, leading to fears that he had suffered a torn ACL. Tomlinson will not need surgery, so he should be good to go for offseason activities. Tomlinson is under contract with San Francisco through 2021 thanks to the three-year, $18MM extension he signed last summer.

49ers Eyeing Grigson For Front Office Role

Since being fired by the Colts from their general manager post, Ryan Grigson has spent the past two years with two different teams. He served in both the Browns’ and Seahawks’ front offices.

The 49ers are now interested in bringing the veteran executive to the Bay Area, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports (on Twitter).

While John Lynch is entering his third offseason as 49ers GM, he has former Lions GM Martin Mayhew working in the front office as well. Grigson, 46, would add a third exec with experience as a team’s top personnel man.

The Browns let Grigson go just after the 2017 season ended. He caught on with the Seahawks in June of last year, now serving in the role of senior football consultant.

Grigson ran the Colts for five years. His first draft brought Colt cornerstones Andrew Luck and T.Y. Hilton, but the team struggled to build a roster around Luck as the years progressed.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Seahawks Hire Ryan Grigson

Former Colts GM Ryan Grigson is back in the NFL. The Seahawks have hired him to join their front office, according to an announcement from his agent.

[RELATED: Cowboys “Holding Out Hope” Of Acquiring Earl Thomas?]

Grigson, 46, was the Colts’ GM for five years until he was fired after the 2016 season. Outside of landing Andrew LuckT.Y. Hilton, Coby Fleener, and Dwayne Allen his first draft, the rest of Grigson’s draft record was rather spotty. Meanwhile, his trade of a first-round pick for Browns draft bust Trent Richardson in 2013 probably stands as his most infamous move.

Grigson hooked on with the Browns in 2017, but he was let go by John Dorsey‘s regime. It’s not immediately clear what he’ll be doing in Seattle under GM John Schneider, but it’s likely to be scouting-focused. Officially, Grigson will serve as a consultant, Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times (Twitter link) hears.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Browns Part Ways With Ryan Grigson

The Browns have parted ways with executive Ryan Grigson, Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com (on Twitter) hears. Meanwhile, Chief Strategy Officer Paul DePodesta, andVP/player personnel Andrew Berry will continue in their present roles with the team, according to ESPN.com’s Tony Grossi (on Twitter). Ryan Grigson (Vertical)

[RELATED: Browns Hire Eliot Wolf As Assistant GM]

New GM John Dorsey has set out to shake things up in the Browns’ front office. Soon after taking the job, Dorsey plucked Alonzo Highsmith (now the team’s Vice President of Football Operations) and Eliot Wolf (newly appointed assistant GM) from the Packers. The former Colts GM, however, will not be a part of the revamped group.

It’s somewhat surprising to hear that DePodesta and Berry will keep their jobs, particularly after Dorsey ripped former head honcho Sashi Brown and “the guys” who were a part of “that system.” Dorsey has used analytics in the past, but he a traditional football man at heart, so DePodesta may not have much impact in what goes down this offseason.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Browns Rumors: Jackson, Haslam, Haden

Hue Jackson did not want to confirm a report that he and ousted executive VP Sashi Brown weren’t on speaking terms, but Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com reports the two had clashed on numerous occasions — and certain players were at the root of this friction. Carson Wentz, Marvin Jones, A.J. McCarron and Jimmy Garoppolo induced disagreements between the Browns’ power structure, as previously reported, but Cabot adds Jackson and Brown were at odds about the likes of Joe Haden, Demario Davis and Jeremy Maclin.

Jackson wanted the Browns to sign Maclin, Cabot reports. They were loosely connected to the UFA wideout, but the Ravens, Bills and Eagles were well ahead of them. Jackson presumably wanted Haden to remain in Cleveland, but the Browns released him. Davis was also shipped back to the Jets and has enjoyed a productive season. Cabot also notes Jackson and Gregg Williams received pushback from some members of the front office in the Myles Garrett-vs.-Mitch Trubisky argument that transpired in April, with the coaches’ side winning out and Garrett being the pick.

Here’s the latest on a busy day in Cleveland.

  • Jimmy Haslam made this move Thursday in order to not fall behind on the GM carousel, Tony Grossi of ESPNCleveland.com reports, adding the owner saw the Giants taking an early lead by landing their former GM Ernie Accorsi to lead a search to replace Jerry Reese. Ownership was “adamant” not to fall behind in this pursuit, per Grossi. Matt Miller of Bleacher Report said during a radio appearance on 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland the early Brown firing was to get an early start on a John Dorsey push (Twitter link). The Browns do not have to wait until season’s end to interview Dorsey like they would an active exec, and Miller reports many believe he will be Cleveland’s next GM. Dorsey steered the Chiefs to three playoff berths in four seasons after taking over following a 2-14 season.
  • Haslam was tinkering with the idea to make in-season changes for the past couple of weeks, Albert Breer of SI.com reports, noting the owner was considering bringing in a football voice to complement Brown rather than replace him. But after research, the owner decided to fire Brown and begin a search for his replacement.
  • Both Breer and Grossi confirm the Thursday-afternoon report the Browns are going after Dorsey. Grossi reports Dorsey has been “endorsed heartily” by at least one of the football execs with whom Haslam’s already consulted. Breer notes a Dorsey/Jackson arrangement makes more sense than Brown/Jackson, with the ex-Chiefs GM’s scouting background aligning more with Jackson’s admitted old-school approach to football development. That, and not necessarily his impressive work in Kansas City, made him a key name to watch in Cleveland, Breer notes.
  • A Dorsey hire could well mean a more prominent role for ex-Colts GM Ryan Grigson, Grossi writes. Grigson’s currently working as a senior personnel exec, with an emphasis on scouting. Dorsey and Grigson’s friendship and mutual respect would stand to lead to a better title for the since-fired Indianapolis decision-maker.
  • The Browns’ decision to part with Brown and not Jackson could lead to an increased interest in Josh Rosen. Miller notes. Jackson likes the UCLA quarterback as a prospect, with a source informing the draft-based reporter Rosen is “Jackson’s guy.” Rosen seems more certain to declare for the 2018 draft than Sam Darnold at this juncture.