Linebacker Josh McNary was a player who the Indianapolis Colts and general manager Ryan Grigson really liked in 2013 and 2014, signing him after he fulfilled his commitment to the Army and giving him chances to continue improving as a football player. Then, however, he was formally charged with rape in January, and he was on the commissioner's exempt list until his contract expired in March. That left him a free agent and he remained that way until last week he was found not guilty on all counts of the rape charges.
Ryan Grigson wasted no time acting. He called McNary up and wanted to find out if he was still in shape. That led to McNary getting a workout with the Colts on Saturday, and by Sunday he was signed to the practice squad - less than a week after he was acquitted.
When asked today whether there was any hesitation on the part of Grigson or the Colts in bringing back McNary, the Colts' GM was clear that there wasn't. "No, we just wanted to exhaust the process," Grigson said. "The first thing I did was once he was exonerated called him and said, ‘How much do you weigh? Are you in shape?' I don't know if it sounds callous but our thoughts and prayers were with him through the process. He's a great human being. We had to let the legal process play itself out. Here we are. He looked pretty good today."
McNary has played in 20 games with the Colts over the past two years, including starting four games last year. He has racked up 42 tackles and 0.5 sacks and has also contributed on special teams. As a depth linebacker, he is an intriguing option and one the Colts really like. After his career was put on pause in January, it's good to see him getting a second chance now after being acquitted of those charges.
Of course, the Colts have other players at inside linebacker that are on the active roster. Jerrell Freeman and D'Qwell Jackson are the starters, while Nate Irving and Sio Moore seem pretty entrenched as the backups. Consider that the team also just waived rookie Amarlo Herrera, who they like, and it's clear that there is talent and depth elsewhere at inside linebacker. But McNary's versatility, potential, and experience with the Colts' system certainly makes him an interesting option and he can continue to work with them on the practice squad for the time being.