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Ryan Grigson has come through the combine and free agency looms ahead. The process for a general manager never stops, and the draft is ahead in April.





INDIANAPOLIS – This time a week ago, Ryan Grigson was knee-deep in preparing to witness draft-eligible players at the combine.

The 333 hopefuls were put through a barrage of physical drills, psychological probes, medical tests and interviews with the 32 teams.

Grigson has 15 years of NFL personnel experience, thus he has worked the combine at every level, starting with St. Louis in 1999 and then moving to Philadelphia before landing the Colts' top spot in 2012.

"It's pretty broad," said Grigson of what he had to take in.  "In the past, maybe I was looking at more specific things.  Now from where I sit in this position, you're making investments.

"You need to know everything from top-to-bottom about these players, from a mental standpoint, from a durability standpoint, from a leadership standpoint.  You can't get enough information.  The process is extensive, but it needs to be.  You're spending a lot of money on these players, and they're ensuring the future of the franchise."

Grigson has a trained eye that has seen the annual spike and decline of performances by players at the combine.

"Year in and year out, and it's on both ends of the spectrum," said Grigson.  "(You see) guys who perform really well, who you never expected to and vice versa.  Every year it doesn't change.

"There are always guys that move way up and down the board in drastic fashion.  You have to be careful on that."

Between now and the April 25-27 draft, there will be on-campus workouts by many players who spent the past week in Indianapolis. 

Speculation will be rampant with near-breathless updates on players rising and falling.  Sifting through that and staying true to the process is the key for leaders like Grigson.

The league's free agency period starts on March 12.  Grigson said at the combine the club has reached out to its free agents to at least provide an idea to them of the direction in which the team is headed.

Linebacker Dwight Freeney and wide receiver Austin Collie will not be offered contracts.  There remain 12 unrestricted free agents that include Donnie Avery, Antonio Johnson, Winston Justice, Pat McAfee, Fili Moala, Jerraud Powers and Drew Stanton.

The club's five restricted free agents include Jeff Linkenbach and Seth Olsen, while exclusive free agents are Josh Gordy, Joe Reitz and Martin Tevaseu.

The Colts are at a reported $44 million under the league's salary cap which should be in area of $122 million this year, a slight jump from 2012.

"It's all about looking at who's out there.  It's a process," said Grigson.  "You want to know who the players are out there that not only fit us from an age perspective, a scheme perspective.  Have they been durable?  Are they going to be worth the price tag the market's going to demand in the end?  There are a lot of questions you have to find out. 

"Then, you kind of temper that or contrast that with what's there in the draft.  It's an evolving process.  We have an idea, but it's a day-to-day thing.  You have to find the middle ground of who you're going to pick in free agency and who you're going to draft."

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