Ryan Grigson

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.

North Rumors: Browns, Villanueva, Vikings

Ryan Grigson will be working on a much lower level with the Browns than he did during his five seasons as the Colts’ GM, but his new employer wants to get the longtime exec back to what he’s believed to do best. The Browns are going to deploy Grigson as a “super scout” of sorts, with Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reporting the team believes that is Grigson’s biggest strength. Grigson worked as an NFL scout with the Rams and Eagles from 1999-2009 before becoming Philadelphia’s director of player personnel in 2010. Pluto notes the 45-year-old Grigson will scout pro and college players and travel to schools to gauge talent in his new role, one that will feature him reporting to former Colts subordinate Andrew Berry.

Here’s more out of Cleveland and some other northern NFL cities.

  • The Browns’ contract talks with Isaiah Crowell have stalled for the time being, per Pluto. But the Browns are expected to revisit discussions about an extension for their starting running back “at some point.” Crowell signed his second-round RFA tender earlier this month and as his contract year approaches is in position for a possible career campaign. The Browns devoted considerable resources to upgrading their offensive line this offseason, signing Kevin Zeitler and J.C. Tretter, and extending Joel Bitonio. Crowell averaged 4.8 yards per carry, rushing for 952 on a 1-15 team, so the 24-year-old back could be in line to enhance his value with a strong 2017.
  • Returning Browns tackles leader Christian Kirksey also profiles as player the team wants to extend, Pluto notes, hearing extension talks between the team and the linebacker are progressing. The former third-round pick is moving from inside linebacker in Cleveland’s 3-4 look to the 4-3 weak-side ‘backer, but he should retain a three-down role alongside Jamie Collins. Kirksey’s 143 stops last season were nearly 50 more than the second-best Browns tackler, and the emerging player is entering a contract year.
  • Alejandro Villanueva hasn’t signed his Steelers ERFA tender yet. As it stands now, Pittsburgh’s left tackle starter would be paid $615K this season. Villanueva profiles as an interesting case, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com writes, noting the 28-year-old former Army Ranger is attending Carnegie-Mellon business school and could have options if an NFL career doesn’t unfold to his liking. Fowler also notes the Steelers won’t be keen on giving Villanueva more than high-end right tackle Marcus Gilbert, who makes $6.1MM per year. While the Steelers are in commanding position here due to ERFAs’ lack of leverage, Villaneuva obviously saw the going rate for steady tackles rise this offseason. The Steelers were working to extend their third-year left tackle starter in February, but Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports the sides aren’t progressing on an extension. Gilbert believes Villanueva is “very deserving” of a new deal.
  • Jerick McKinnon has largely been forgotten in the Vikings‘ backfield competition this offseason, but the fourth-year back remains on the roster and has added some weight to his lighter (for an NFL running back) frame. The 5-foot-9 McKinnon bulked up to 211 pounds from 200 this offseason, per Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. That said, the Vikes signed Latavius Murray and used a second-round pick on Dalvin Cook. It’s likely McKinnon — a former college quarterback — will be the No. 3 back.

Browns Add Ryan Grigson To Front Office

The Browns have announced the hiring of former Colts general manager Ryan Grigson as a senior personnel executive. Grigson will report to vice president of player personnel Andrew Berry, who worked under Grigson in Indianapolis from 2012-15.

Ryan Grigson

“Ryan brings valuable experience to our personnel group,” said Browns GM Sashi Brown. “He was raised as a road-scout and has been evaluating talent in this league for almost 20 years. We place a premium on that experience and on his passion for football. Ryan has much to offer to any personnel department and we are pleased that he chose to join our staff.”

Grigson had been out of work since the Colts fired him in January, which ended a five-year run atop their football department. Grigson’s tenure in Indianapolis began with a flourish, as his first draft included the likes of Andrew Luck, T.Y. Hilton, Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen – all of whom helped the Colts win 11 games each year from 2012-14 and earn playoff berths. However, Grigson ultimately struggled to put enough talent around Luck, the crown jewel of the franchise, and had difficulty coexisting with head coach Chuck Pagano. Thanks in part to those factors, particularly the inability to support Luck, the Colts went .500 in each of the previous two seasons and owner Jim Irsay elected to part with Grigson.

Prior to his hiring in Indy, Grigson worked in scouting capacities with the Rams and Eagles from 1999-2011. He’ll return to that type of role with the Browns.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Colts Hired Psychologists For Grigson, Pagano

It had long been speculated that one or both of Colts head coach Chuck Pagano and GM Ryan Grigson would be fired after the 2016 season, and although it took a little longer than expected, Grigson was relieved of his duties yesterday. Pagano, meanwhile, will reportedly keep his job for the 2017 season (though there are rumors that he, too, could be dismissed if he fails to deliver a championship to Indianapolis next year).

Jul 30, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano (left) talks to team president Ryan Grigson during training camp at Anderson University. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

As Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star reports in a series of Twitter links, there was a significant rift between Pagano and Grigson by the time the 2015 season rolled around, and nothing improved in 2016. Holder says that, this past season, Pagano went into his “bunker” and Grigson went into his, and the dysfunction was such that it was surprising that anything got done.

Holder adds (via Twitter) that owner Jim Irsay went to great lengths over the past several weeks to sort out the issues with his club, and he apparently concluded that the best thing for the Colts was to “untie” Grigson and Pagano, who both joined the team in 2012. Holder observes in a full-length piece that Irsay did not mention any of Grigson’s personnel-related shortcomings when he outlined his reasons for making a change. Instead, he said, “I don’t think you guys understand and give Ryan enough credit for what he’s done here. I really don’t.”

Those statements led Holder to believe that it was the flaws in the Grigson-Pagano relationship that ultimately triggered Grigson’s dismissal, and a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter lends a great deal of support to that theory. As Schefter writes, the Colts brought in psychologists to help repair the relationship, and the primary focus was on ways Pagano and Grigson could improve their communication. Schefter added, “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.”

Obviously, that innovative step did not work, as the differences between Grigson and Pagano proved to be irreconcilable.

We learned earlier today that interim GM Jimmy Raye III is currently viewed as the favorite to replace Grigson on a permanent basis.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.