By Tom James
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The Indianapolis Colts formally announced former Philadelphia director of player personnel Ryan Grigson as the team's new general manager Wednesday.
"Ryan brings to the Colts an outstanding NFL personnel history and a record of achievement. He is the right person for the challenges of his new role," team owner Jim Irsay said. "I am confident he can help us continue the winning tradition we have enjoyed."
Grigson, 39, spent the past nine seasons with the Eagles, beginning in 2003 as a regional scout for the team. He has been Philadelphia's director of player personnel for the past two years.
"I'm excited for the challenge. I knew immediately this is where I wanted to be. From the onset, this was a fit for me. I just knew in my gut that it felt right."
According to team owner Irsay,the Highland, Ind., native and former Purdue offensive lineman signed a four-year deal with the Colts to be the team's new general manager.
Grigson's contract has a team option for a fifth-year. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The Colts' new general manager said that he is going to take some time before diving into some of the Colts' most pressing issues, such as the fate of coach Jim Caldwell and any decisions regarding quarterback Peyton Manning.
That same mind set goes for his immediate staff as well as the team's player personnel and scouting departments.
"I've been on teams before where guys were ran out just for the sake of running them out. I like to salvage things," Grigson said."If there is ability, why get rid of it if it's going to help us get to where we want to go and see us through the vision of being great."
Getting back to Indiana and having an opportunity to work with his home-state team was a chance that he couldn't turn down. He played at Purdue for coach Jim Colletto and was drafted in 1994 by the Bengals.
"It's a tremendous opportunity and a once in a lifetime blessing," Grigson said. "I was born in this state, raised in this state, went to college in this state and met my wife in this state.
"That says a lot about how near and dear Indiana is to me on all levels. That's comforting knowing that I'm going to be embarking on this opportunity and challenge with that as a backdrop."
Nothing new on Caldwell-- No decision on the fate of coach Jim Caldwell and his assistants is expected until early next week.
"[GM] Ryan [Grigson] spoke with Jim Caldwell. He's going to get into some lengthy conversations with him over the weekend. Maybe on Monday [Grigson] and I will sit down and talk," Irsay said.
"If Jim is going to be staying here, it's because he gives us the best chance to win and he deserves the opportunity. You love popularity. But in the end, this is about what's best for the franchise. It's not just change for change."
No meeting with Manning yet-- Grigson had not talked to the four-time NFL Most Valuable prior to accepting his new job as the Colts' general manager.
"He's a great player and he's done great things. I admire his body of work without a question. I look forward to speaking with him sometime," he said.
Still evaluating the roster-- "I have a general impression of everybody on the [Colts] roster. But to do it the right way, I need to lock myself in my office, put a 'Do Not Disturb' sign on the door and knock it out and know exactly what I have before I can really evaluate and speak about players with Mr. Irsay. I want to know univocally what we have," Grigson said.
Telesco stays-- Colts director of player personnel Tom Telesco was one of eight finalists for the team's general manager position.
Irsay said that Telesco is expected to remain in Indianapolis unless he gets an offer for a front office position for another NFL team.
"Tom and Ryan know each other. They can work well together," the Colts owner said.
Colts have first pick in first round only-- While Indianapolis has the first pick in the 2012 draft, the Colts will not have the first pick in all seven rounds.
The NFL confirmed Wednesday that since both the Colts and St. Louis both finished with identical 2-14 records, the two teams will take turns with the first pick starting with the second round.
The Rams will go first in Round Two and Indianapolis first in Round Three and so on.
In other news-- The Colts have not renewed the contract of special teams coach Ray Rychelski. Rychelski had been with the team since 2009.
Indianapolis signed wide receivers Jeremy Ross and Jarred Fayson to a reserve/future contracts.
Ross was signed to the practice squad on September 28 where he remained for the rest of the regular season. He was originally signed by New England as a rookie free agent on July 27.
Fayson was originally signed by New Orleans as an undrafted free agent on July 27, 2011. He was waived September 3. The team signed Fayson to the practice squad on November 21, where he remained for the rest of the season.