INDIANAPOLIS -- Ryan Grigson landed his dream job Wednesday.
After spending more than a decade on the road, scouting for the St. Louis Rams and Philadelphia Eagles, the 39-year-old Indiana native is coming home to rebuild the Colts, possibly with a new coach, a new quarterback and an entirely different philosophy. And for the first time, Grigson will be making all those tough decisions.
"I've been on teams whose guys were run off for the sake of running guys off," Grigson said after agreeing to a four-year deal that includes a team option for a fifth year. "That makes no sense to me. I like to salvage things if the ability is there."
There's no time for on-the-job training, either, with the Colts coming off their worst record (2-14) in two decades and fans expecting an immediate turnaround.
Colts owner Jim Irsay wants Grigson to make a decision on coach Jim Caldwell, whom the GM never even met until Wednesday, by the middle of next week. Then the new GM must sort out the team's complicated salary-cap problem, a major concern for an aging team bereft of young talent and a young leader with little experience with the cap.
The Colts also must decide whether or not to pay a $28 million bonus to four-time league MVP Peyton Manning by March 8, renegotiate the contract or let the face of the franchise walk away as a free agent now that the team owns the No. 1 overall pick in April's NFL draft. Grigson said he hasn't spoken with Manning, who missed the entire 2011 season after having his third neck surgery in 19 months.
Irsay said only that Manning continues to rehabilitate the neck.
Grigson also must decide which veteran free agents, if any, to bring back. That list includes Pro Bowl players Robert Mathis, Jeff Saturday and Reggie Wayne, all in their 30s.
Irsay said he'll largely let Grigson make the calls, though the owner plans to be involved in the early decisions and could exercise his veto power.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press