Colts general manager Ryan Grigson spoke for 29 minutes yesterday at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, and it's amazing how one season under his belt (and a 2012 NFL Executive of the Year award) can change a man. At last year's Combine, Grigson looked uncomfortable, agitated, and - let's just be frank here - was sweating bullets more than Nixon on television.
This year, different story, and Grigson acknowledged it:
It's definitely easier for me to be up here and talk about football because, last year, I had a lot of things going on that I couldn't talk about. That's the plain truth.
Releasing Peyton Manning, firing Jim Caldwell, drafting Andrew Luck, working with no cap space... yeah, I'd say that's a lot of stuff going on.
This year, the foundation for the franchise is set, the Colts have roughly $43 million dollars in cap space to spend, and Grigson seems ready to pounce like a cheetah on several players when they enter the open market on March 12th. This is a near complete 180 from where he and the Colts were last season:
'It's black and white. Last year, I was in a completely different situation. It's nice to be able to go shopping a little bit."
Grigson also made it clear that he intends to re-sign more than few Colts players who will be unrestricted free agents (UFAs) in 2013.
"I don't want to name any names, but we've reached out to the guys on our team that we'd like to re-sign. I've also sat down with players that I wanted to explain situations to them."
Roughly ten minutes after saying this, Grigson let slip one of the names. When asked a question about the health of defensive end Fili Moala, who is a free agent this year, Grigson responded:
"He's a UFA we hope to get back in the fold."
I'll admit that it is kind of neat to see a much calmer, more comfortable Ryan Grigson at the podium this year. It's even better to hear him talk aggressively about the Colts offseason and all the plans he has to get this team back into Super Bowl contention.
As we've always said, it's really hard not to like this guy.