The Sporting News has announced that Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson has won their 2012 NFL Executive of the Year award. Grigson was hired by Jim Irsay in January of 2012, replacing the fired Bill Polian as the head of the football operations side of the organization. Grigson had never held a general manager title in the NFL prior to landing the Colts gig.
Per the Sporting News, the vote was 9-8 in favor of Grigson. Denver Broncos vice president of football operations John Elway came in second. Only NFL coaches and executives were allowed to vote for this award.
Obviously, this accolade is very well deserved. Just like Andrew Luck was tasked with replacing Peyton Manning, Grigson had to replace a front office executive that many feel will be a Hall of Famer one day. Not an easy task. Grigson did a phenomenal job during the 2012 NFL Draft, and his skill at finding cheap, under-the-radar free agent talent was also very critical in the Colts winning eleven games in 2012 after winning just two the previous season.
If you will recall, SB Nation's football bloggers felt John Elway should have won this award. Grigson came in fourth in our voting, earning just three nods from us losers living in mom's basement. I was one of the three. I initially thought Elway would win, then changed my mind to Grigson in December.
Look, when five rookies are starting on a team's offense, and every single one is making a positive contribution to an 11-5 season, the guy who drafted those five rookies is the Exec of the Year. Period.
Congrats to Ryan and his front office team.