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Colts fire Ryan Grigson

The Indianapolis Colts have been nothing short of a dysfunctional mess for years, Since Peyton Manning left town, Indianapolis has won a trio of division titles, but little more. On the surface, that sounds respectable, but when you play in the AFC South and have Andrew Luck as your quarterback, it’s unacceptable.

Much of the blame lies well above the players. Owner Jim Irsay has seemed disinterested at times, not getting involved enough when things were going on the downturn. Irsay finally stepped up to the proverbial plate on Saturday afternoon, relieving general manager Ryan Grigson of his duties.

The responses around the internet, including from Colts punter Pat McAfee, were golden.

Why this decision took so long from Irsay remains a mystery. The Colts could have moved on from Grigson immediately after the season was over, allowing a new general manager to put together his scouting staff and plan for both free agency and the draft. Instead, Irsay stood pat before this weekend, finally putting a new plan in motion.

However, there is a major looming question regarding head coach Chuck Pagano. Pagano and Grigson both signed extensions through 2019 only last year, although that was not enough to save Grigson. Will Pagano stay even with a new boss coming in, or does the house in Indianapolis get completely gutted? Frankly, forcing a general manager to retain Pagano would be insane.

One of the hot names floating around is Manning himself, the future Hall of Fame quarterback who brought a championship to Indianapolis back in 2006. Manning would be an incredible public relations move and considering his intellect, could be a home run on the personnel side as well. Anybody coming into this situation has to be thrilled for a few reasons. The team has a talented, young quarterback and a ton of cap space (estimated to be more than $50 million). If the next general manager can draft well and pick up some quality free agents, the Colts could immediately make a deep run in the playoffs.

Of course, there might need to be a search for a new head coach as well. The hottest name on the market is Kyle Shanahan, and while most believe he will end up with the San Francisco 49ers, this might be a game-changer. Shanahan would have to consider getting Luck a massive upgrade over the situation in San Francisco, which currently features Colin Kaepernick, Blaine Gabbert and Christian Ponder.

Regardless, Indianapolis finally made a step necessary to get the team back on the winning track. Now it needs to make the right hires this time around.

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