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Indianapolis Colts

Grigson Pulls Another Lever for Future

Ryan Grigson has swung two trades since the 53-man roster was set on Saturday afternoon. In sending Caesar Rayford to Dallas for a conditional draft pick, Grigson turned an undrafted free agent into a draft pick. Smart – very smart.


INDIANAPOLIS – When a 53-man roster is set initially, it rarely is set in stone. 

The way a wave washes across the sand, or the way an eraser wipes out pencil markings can be how that roster is made fluid in passing hours.

Such was the case Monday when the Colts traded for linebacker Cam Johnson and waived tight end Justice Cunningham and claimed tight end Jack Doyle and waived running back Kerwynn Williams (who then was signed to the practice squad).

Today, Ryan Grigson pulled his 15th trade as Colts GM by shipping free agent linebacker Caesar Rayford to Dallas for a conditional pick.

While some wanted to see Rayford develop as a 27-year old rookie, Grigson was able to move a player and gain another draft pick – someone who will be a few years younger than Rayford and will join the team through the method Grigson calls the "lifeblood of the organization."

Sure some may want to chide the team after Rayford's five sacks in preseason.  How much would he have contributed in the regular season now will be conjecture.  His ability to play special teams?  No one knows.

Is Cam Johnson a better fit?  Quite likely, and the team will need to generate heat on quarterbacks in the 3-4 defense that pits Robert Mathis as the 'rush' linebacker.

Give Grigson credit for aggressiveness.  It is that style that has brought the Colts back toward the front of the NFL pack faster than most people dreamed.

Credit his acumen and his conviction.  Those abilities plot a forward course for the team, and he searches daily to build the monster.

A number of Grigson's 14 other trades have made the club strong.  His trade of A.Q. Shipley earlier this year was an instance where a player obtained as a street free agent was turned into a draft pick. 

The move of Rayford to Dallas is another potential building block for the future.

I was pulling for Rayford?  Who wouldn't?  It is a great story of a player who trekked through the CFL and Arena League to the pinnacle of the sport.  I'll still root for him in Dallas.

What I will do with more conviction is admire how Grigson goes about his business.  He is always thinking, always trying to improve his organization.

Four times with Philadelphia, he was with teams that won 10 or more games in a season.  Ditto that total in his time with St. Louis.  He is one-for-one with the Colts.

Five of the eight Eagles teams with whom he was affiliated made the playoffs.  Four-of-five did so in St. Louis.  One-for-one in Indy.

You go, Ryan.  I bet Colts fans will follow.

ROSTER NEWS -- Dominique Jones was added to the 53-man roster with the trade of Rayford to Dallas.  Justice Cunningham has been added to the practice squad.

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