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Report: Jim Irsay may be more likely to fire Ryan Grigson and keep Chuck Pagano

Detroit Lions v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Earlier today, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Colts owner Jim Irsay is “very unhappy” with his team and that coaches fear that change is coming.

A little bit later this morning, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio added something very interesting:

Some believe that, if Irsay makes a change, he’s more likely to fire Grigson and keep Pagano. While Pagano publicly has accepted full responsibility for the struggles of the team, it’s fair to put most if not all of it on Grigson, given the failure of the front office to put enough talent around Luck.

Florio also wrote that the number of empty seats today at Lucas Oil Stadium could be a big factor for Irsay, since his team is in a meaningless game and since Jaguars fans are unlikely to buy a ton of tickets. So if there are indeed a lot of empty seats like are expected, that won’t leave a good impression on Irsay.

As for Florio’s report about Irsay potentially keeping Pagano but firing Grigson, it actually would make sense, on one condition: that the new general manager wouldn’t be forced to keep Pagano but would get to make the decision. If that’s the case, it would be in line with what Irsay has done before. Remember, when Irsay fired Bill Polian following the 2011 season, he didn’t fire Jim Caldwell right away but waited to let the new general manager (Ryan Grigson) make the call. Grigson and Irsay obviously made the call to fire Caldwell, which paved the way for the hiring of Chuck Pagano.

So in one sense, this report might be simply suggesting that Irsay won’t fire Pagano right away but will let the new general manager make the call. In that case, it’s not a bad decision - though I think we all know that firing Pagano would likely be coming whenever the new GM arrived. But if this report is suggesting that Irsay wants to hire a new GM and force Pagano on that GM, that’s an absolutely terrible idea. First of all, it would limit his options in his GM search, and second of all, it would mean leaving part of the problem around.

It will be interesting to see what Irsay decides to do, but it does sound like Ryan Grigson’s job security is very much in doubt as well.