Grigson: Luck’s contract takes cap space, affects Colts’ defense

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Colts General Manager Ryan Grigson has taken some criticism for not building a good enough team around quarterback Andrew Luck. But Grigson says the presence of Luck on the team affects the way they build the rest of the club.

Grigson said on Jay Mohr’s radio show that the Colts can’t spend as much money on defense as they’d like because of the six-year, $139.125 million contract they gave Luck this year.

“When you have to tighten up, once you pay Andrew what we did, it’s going to take some time to build on the other side of the ball,” Grigson said, via Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star.

There is some truth to what Grigson said: With a salary cap, every dollar you spend on one player is a dollar you can’t spend on another player. Spending money on a quarterback will restrict how much you can spend on your defense.

Still, Grigson’s excuse is fairly weak. The Colts have paid Luck a lot less than the Broncos paid Peyton Manning while they built the defense that won them the Super Bowl last year. It’s certainly not impossible to build a great defense while paying a quarterback a lot of money.

Grigson was lucky enough to get hired by the Colts when they had the first overall pick in 2012, when Luck — considered by many to be the best quarterback prospect since Manning — entered the draft. If Luck’s contract is a problem, it’s a problem a whole lot of other NFL general managers would love to have.

134 responses to “Grigson: Luck’s contract takes cap space, affects Colts’ defense

  1. Take it up with the GM who gave him that contract. Oh wait…

    Grigson is awful. I almost feel bad for Colt fans. But hey it’s called Karma. That’s what you get for employing an HGH using QB for all those years.

    Poor Luck got stuck in a lousy organization. He should demand a trade. I’d take him as a back up to Carr.

  2. I’m just throwing out a crazy idea here. But, for some reason, I’m thinking that part of the GM’s job is to figure out how to have a franchise quarterback, and still field a team around him?

    I mean, is is possible anyone else has done this, like the Patriots, Steelers, Bengals, Ravens, Broncos, Chargers, Seahawks, Cardinals, Saints, Falcons, Panthers, Packers, Lions, Giants, or Cowboys?

  3. That’s the kind of excuse making comment that gets you fired. Throwing the franchise under the bus is not smart.

  4. This guy should be fired on the spot for this nonsense. I know if I was Irsay, after I get through with my drugs for the day, I’d send this idiot packing. Why did it suck the other years, Ryan?

  5. Andrew Luck is a lower rated passer than guys like Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson by nearly 20 points and yet Grigson still paid him $3 million more per year.

    If you’re going to pay a QB top tier money, maybe make sure he’s actually top tier first.

  6. He is basically saying he doesn’t know what he is doing. Something everyone else aside from Irsay seems to already know.

  7. Luck needs a fresh start.

    Trade him to SF for Gabbert, Kaep and Ponder – we keep wife Sam, sorry.

    Do it for the children. (Mine.)

  8. Luck just got his extension this past summer. What about the 2-3 years prior? Or drafting Philip Dorsett when you clearly needed talent in the trenches? Please.

  9. Yeah he had no time to address that defense during the last 5 drafts and in the last 4 free agencies before luck signed this deal. I’d fire him now if I’m irsay

  10. Which is to say that they are in the same position as every other team with an established QB who is past his rookie contract.
    It is a fact of life in the NFL, but a challenge shared by many teams.
    Now then Mr. Grigson, let’s talk about what you do to earn your salary. You know, like putting an offensive line in front of your very highly paid investment so he doesn’t get killed every Sunday. And maybe a defense that doesn’t give up so many points that your QB is throwing on every down to play catch up, making it possible for passrushers to go nuts.

  11. When I think of front office stoop-drama, I always think NFC – specifically the disaster in Santa Clara, Snyder’s Slurs, or the Jones Girls.

    But between Sadness Factory and Irsay’s mess, AFC is getting competitive again.

  12. Grigson is right. That is why the Patriots have not been any good during the Tom Brady era.

    I mean if Bill Belichick can’t do it then nobody can right?

  13. If Denver goes deep with two rookie-contract QBs this year, or Philly for that matter, and to a lesser extent Minnesota (Bradford’s cheap but only in comparison to Luck), maybe teams will start to wonder if astronomical QB salaries are really the best use of their funds. Could “elite” golden boy QBs be a dying breed?

  14. Well that explains why the stellar D they played over the last 4 years while they were only taking cap hits of $7M, $6M, $5M and $4M for Luck disappeared…oh, wait.

    Grigson is a tool and Irsay is an even bigger one for extending his contract.

  15. Wait a second here! When you have a QB who is the best thing ever to happen to a team, who walks on water, is whom the fans love, and whom is deserving of every penny in his contract, it’s okay to short the rest of the team (exception: Good O line is important). Don’t forget this! EVER!

    Signed,
    Drew Brees

  16. Grigson and Pagano won’t be around much longer. They should be run out of town on the bad streets and bridges the Pence administration left.

  17. Hey Ryan….Drafting well improves a team.

    Passing on Donovan Smith for Phillip Dorsett and trading down for Dijion Smith when you could have had Ali Marpet should have been a sign to Irsay you didn’t have the brain for the job.

    My guess you will blow the top ten pick next year on a 5’7″ DB who you call a sleeper who plays 23 career games

  18. It’s amazing what you can find if you have a clue what you are looking for……I’m tired of hearing Luck is the greatest QB ever just has no help, when old man Hasselbeck out played him last year.

  19. dukeblue12 says:
    Oct 7, 2016 2:21 PM

    Or drafting Philip Dorsett when you clearly needed talent in the trenches?
    ————————————————————-
    This comment is spot on. Grisgson should have been canned for this selection, right after he was already canned for the Trent Richardson trade.

  20. If Grigson could not build a defense in the 4 years that Luck was making minimal dollars, then how will he EVER build one now with Luck making 25 mil per year? Or an offensive line?? Tanking might be the solution but this time it may not even be intentional.

  21. What a Liar!! Luck signed his deal a year ago. The defense has been bad every single year. You make excuses and throw the cornerstone of your franchise under the bus in the process.

  22. He can’t be fired. With his mouth he would immediately admit that Deflategate was a frame job.

    His job is safe.

    He is trying to get Luck to renegotiate his contract. That way free up some cap space and go from terrible to mediocre.

    anyway, Irsay gets what he deserves, load up the Mayflower trucks.

  23. Grigson has a great eye for talent! He traded a first round pick for Trent Richardson! What a steal! Sure the Colts oline and defense is mediocre at best but who cares when you have Andrew Luck as your QB. Please keep him around Irsay.
    -Signed Rest of AFC South

  24. bucsorbust says:
    Oct 7, 2016 2:31 PM
    Wait a second here! When you have a QB who is the best thing ever to happen to a team, who walks on water, is whom the fans love, and whom is deserving of every penny in his contract, it’s okay to short the rest of the team (exception: Good O line is important). Don’t forget this! EVER!

    Signed,
    Drew Brees
    ________________

    Interesting that Mickey Loomis appears under the screen name bucsorbust on PFT. Loomis is an even bigger idiot than Grigson but gets a free pass. It’s hard to take a Brees greed comment seriously when NO has $72M in dead cap money between this year and last

  25. A lot of peopel commenting don’t seem to understand that Grigson is Irsay’s Son In Law aka married to Irsays daughter. He’s not going anywhere

  26. When you can’t draft while paying your QB below franchise QB dollars for 4 years, what can you expect? Grigson is the worst drafting GM in all of football, total joke. Anyone who gives up a 1st for Trent Richardson has no clue as to what they are doing.

  27. I remember the 49’ers starting 4 rookies in the secondary. Talk about low budget. There are great players in every round and many of them come cheap. The GM has to manage the cap but also build a talented team capable of winning. This guy is saying to everyone he can only do half of the job.

  28. Call it what it is, Luck is just an average QB. Career QBR 85, average. Turns the ball over (int + fumbles) more than average. Check his numbers against Russell Wilson (who oh btw has been to 2 Super Bowls and won one) and he looks even worse. Time to stop giving this guy a free pass who is lucky to be playing in the worst division in football or the numbers would be even worse.

  29. i wonder if Grigson does get caned if Kravitz will come clean and admit that it was Grigson who “tipped” him off as to the patriot balls being under 12.5 psig?

  30. Throwing a player essentially under the bus as to why the team is lousy, wow! Grigson is the Bruce Arians of the G.M pool.

  31. When Broncos building a team by paying Peyton lot money – they also got players like Ware, Talib, Sanders come and play for Peyton (last chance) / Miller for comparatively less money – I think it’s hard for any star defender wants to go to Colts and play for Luck / whoever there for less money

  32. Thank you, Grigson, I haven’t laughed like that in quite some time.
    For the life of me, I have no idea how he received a new contract.
    Oh, that is right, the owner is a crack head.

  33. I love football fans. When Russell Wilson got his new contract, everybody said the Seahawks would now suck because it’s impossible to pay for a good starting QB without the rest of the team falling apart.

    NOW, when a GM comes out and says the exact same thing, everybody changes their tune and says that it absolutely is possible to employ a good team while paying for a good QB and this guy is just making excuses.

    Make up your minds, people.

  34. Worst run defense in the NFL: Ergo, draft Phillip Dorsett over Malcolm Brown, who no one not palpably moronic or insane thought would fall out of the top 20.

    And then Brown gets drafted by the team that keeps putting up Dickerson-esque running yards against the Colts. He replaces a FHOF nose tackles who has been a nightmare for the Colts offense for over a decade.

    This, ladies and gentlemen, is Ryan Grigson’s career in miniature.

  35. Weird since Manning had a lousy defense for most of his Colts career and still managed to do well. I also don’t recall the media being there to carry his water like they do with Luck. Instead, every Colts failure was Manning’s fault, according to the media.

    Other QBs have played with far worse defenses and just as poor OL as Luck has and they weren’t mediocre like he has been for all but one year of his career.

    Luck could play with the all pro team, struggle, and the media and all his apologists would say he has no talent around him. What will it take before they actually accept he’s not as good as they wished he was?

    I’ve never seen another player get the type of free pass he does when he’s done nothing to earn it….and please don’t give me the playoff trips as the reason. Andy Dalton has led Cincinnati to the playoffs every year of his career and nobody is gushing over him.

  36. There are plenty of teams who are paying around $20M for a QB. Few are as bad as the Colts…

  37. .

    My favorite Ryan Grigson draft story :

    With the Colts on the clock with pick #29, the Patriots tell the assembled media that they will trade their first round pick, #32, to Houston and therefore they should wrap it up and go home.

    Then Griggy passes on stud DT Malcolm Brown in favor of WR, Philip (the brittle dwarf) Dorsett.

    Belichick then cancels the trade with Houston, drafts Brown and in his second year has become the Patriots top DT.

    I guess Griggy figured the last thing the Colts needed was a big bodied, run stuffer clogging up the middle?
    .

  38. Irony:

    The reason why 75% of the league is in a cap hell, including the Ravens, is because Ozzie waited way too long to give Flacco his 2nd contract.

    Flacco was a FA as he started to hoist the Lombardi over his Herman Munster head.

    So every above average QB, from Eli Manning right on down to Andy Dalton, is making 20 mil per, which means every QB outside of Brady and Rodgers, are overpaid due to poor cap and roster management from Ozzie Newsome.

    Indy used to play in Baltimore.

    Indy and BAltimore colluded with Goodell to cheat the Pats in Framegate.

  39. I’m just throwing out a crazy idea here. But, for some reason, I’m thinking that part of the GM’s job is to figure out how to have a franchise quarterback, and still field a team around him?

    I mean, is is possible anyone else has done this, like the Patriots, Steelers, Bengals, Ravens, Broncos, Chargers, Seahawks, Cardinals, Saints, Falcons, Panthers, Packers, Lions, Giants, or Cowboys?
    ————————————-
    I don’t see much built around the QBs of the Lions, Chargers, Saints, and especially ESPN’s second favorite team, the Invincible Cowboys, right now.

  40. Didn’t they have him on a rookie contract for the past 4 years? They weren’t drafting players/signing free agents to make the defense better when they had extra money…and NOW you complain you don’t have the money?

    Unreal. This guy should be canned immediately. Peyton was being paid near the same rate last year, and their defense was crazy good.

  41. It takes a competent GM too. So the Colts don’t have either cap space or a GM that can manage a roster correctly.

    The Patriots have no issues finding good defensive players to put around Tom Brady. The Broncos had no trouble finding players to put around a very well paid Peyton Manning.

    I could literally go down the list. The reality is the bad defense falls on the GM, not the QB.

  42. A lot of peopel commenting don’t seem to understand that Grigson is Irsay’s Son In Law aka married to Irsays daughter. He’s not going anywhere
    ——————————————–
    Owners and their relatives always make the best GMs. Ask Jerry Jones, Or Mike Brown. Or the innumerable owners who’ve put their sons or sons-in-law in charge. It always works–it’s uncanny!

  43. Grigson: raised to his level of incompetence…it’s what’s wrong with America today…witness HC as Secretary of Defense for example…
    ———————————–
    Not that it has anything to do with the subject of this thread, but HRC was not Secretary of Defense. She was Secretary of State.

  44. Of course, it is collusion if the owners all get together and everyone says no one can pay over a certain percentage of the cap for a QB. To me, the sheer greediness of players has put a lot of talented veterans into the unemployment line because young rookies through their first 4 years only make a pittance. They took all the money away from signing rookies in the last CBA, now there should be a way to do the same with greedy players in certain positions. Personally, the quality of play which goes into the ratings drop is affected when teams cant afford to put together quality teams because they have to pay exorbitant salaries to get a quality QB. Even a so so quality QB like Flacco still costs 120 mil. I think that the more money one person makes, the less others make, the less teams can spend on other quality players, meaning that the quality of play decreases which explains ratings drops. The only thing about that is the owners are greedy themselves and know the big name players sell seats and jerseys and they would never agree to a pay scale because they all want to give the best players just a little more than another owner and so their greed will never allow a pay scale structure to exist.

  45. SHHHH! I think Grigson and Irsay are doing a fantastic job and look forward to many years of their competent leadership of the Indianapolis Colts.

  46. Too bad any money we’d save on a smaller contract for Luck would still have this clown “investing” it.

    I may have to come up with a new title to call him, though….at least Bozo could do his job well.

  47. Including Luck their last 1st-3d round picks have been 8 offensive players (including only 2 offensive linemen) and 3 defensive players. From 2012-2015 one first round pick was used on a defensive player, and that was Bjorn Werner. You drafted like you were building a team in Madden. That – not Luck’s contract – is why your defense is so ineffective.

  48. He’s not wrong but I would have kept that information internal to the organization. The Colts have enough drama as it is. Adding more fuel to the fire is not advisable.

  49. If he spent less time worrying about Brady’s deflated balls and criticizing his coach and spent more time scouting, he might have a better team around Luck. When someone is incompetent it is never their own fault.

  50. How is this an acceptable response from a GM? Yeah, no kidding, you can’t spend the same money twice. But that’s also why you negotiate and plan for your team and it’s spending. That’s a terrible excuse for the defense, and that also doesn’t explain the lack of talent in any position besides QB and WR.

  51. Brady’s footballs were never artificially deflated. It’s been proven a dozen times over by numerous people and confirmed in a court of law.

    But, yes, if Grigson had a better grasp of being a GM, he wouldn’t have felt a need to collude with Harbaugh–Pagano-Irsay—-Goodell to concoct the obvious witch hunt they got caught executing in front of the entire country.

  52. That’s the kind of loser-talk I would expect to hear from a professional politician that never created anything outside of a resume.

    Don’t tell me excuses for failure. Find an apply a strategy for success!

    Fire this loser right now before he does any more damage to the Colts and America with his thinking.

  53. dietrich43 says:
    Oct 7, 2016 2:17 PM
    I’m just throwing out a crazy idea here. But, for some reason, I’m thinking that part of the GM’s job is to figure out how to have a franchise quarterback, and still field a team around him?

    I mean, is is possible anyone else has done this, like the Patriots, Steelers, Bengals, Ravens, Broncos, Chargers, Seahawks, Cardinals, Saints, Falcons, Panthers, Packers, Lions, Giants, or Cowboys?

    ——————————————————————-
    Please don’t list the Saints as an example. Though Brees was paid fairly – we haven’t put anything that resembles a defense on the team.

  54. “it’s going to take some time to build on the other side of the ball”

    The problem is, the team has gotten worse. It’s not like they had nothing when they got Luck and have had to build from there; they did better a couple years ago than they have since. They should have had the right pieces in place before Luck got his big contract.

    No one’s going to buy that in a league where teams led by Brady, Rodgers, Roethlisberger, Manning, Newton are regular contenders, you can’t field a competent team around a star QB.

    4+ years with Luck, and they don’t even have a passable offensive line?

  55. I guess first round picks Werner, Trent Richardson, and P. Dorsett had nothing to do with the problems in surrounding Luck with some talent.

    If I were Irsay I would fire Grigson immediately after making such a stupid statement.

  56. You don’t have to pay for a good team. You pay good players and build your team with young role players. That’s why the Dolphins and redskins for example never get to the top. They buy great player before they have a good team and those great players aren’t great anymore.

  57. I hope for Luck’s sake that he eventually gets a good management team above him and we can see how good he can be.

    Of course either way he’s going to be fabulously rich for the rest of his life (unless he’s an idiot with money). So I don’t feel too bad for him. Beats the heck out of having a crappy boss and making just enough.

  58. Wikipedia says that Irsay has three children. Their names are Carlie, Casey, and Kalen.

    None is named Cynthia (Grigsons wife is named Cynthia).

    So it seems that Grigson is not Irsay’s son in law, as was claimed by several posters in this thread.

    Can somebody clarify?

  59. Meanwhile, Grigson refused to comment on his relationship with Irsay’s daughter which is widely believed to be the reason he is still employed by the Colts.

  60. Deflategate taught us everything we need to know about this buffoon. Fire him before it’s too late.

    Guilt-tripping your franchise QB about what he makes (and what you agreed to pay him) just makes you look desperate.

  61. Can’t imagine Grigson’s day in the office today. Every time he sees two people talking, he’s going to think they’re talking about him and what he said this morning. Paranoia will destroy ya.

  62. Pretty sure someone mentioned this in the comments above but:

    Mr. Grigson, it costs very little against the cap to draft well on defense. Offensive line too for that matter. Hit on more 3-5s and this isn’t a conversation.

  63. You guys want to hear a joke?

    There once was a general manager who traded a first round pick for Trent Richardson.

    The punchline: He still has a job!

  64. Blaming a contract you gave your “star” QB for not being able to build a decent defense?

    News flash, Indy hasn’t had an elite defense since long before Manning left. I’ve never understood the praise for Tony Dungy. When he arrived in Tampa, they already had a solid defense. Lynch, Sapp, Brooks, Nickerson, ect, ect, were already there. Dungy NEVER had a good offense in Tampa.

    He went to Indianapolis, during his tenure he had a top 10 defense twice and his offense was great.

    What happened to the Colts when Manning got hurt? They fell apart..

    Why put the blame on Luck?

  65. I applaud Grigson for speaking the truth. It’s the same way with the Saints, Chargers and several other teams. The QB’s max deals suffocates the team’s ability to put a solid defense on the field.

    While QBs like Drew Brees, Phillip Rivers and Andrew Luck get great stats, their salaries sink the team’s ship. And if a major QB gets hurt for an extended period, it’s a disaster of titanic proportions! That’s because most don’t have serviceable backups. Just clipboard holders.

    I’m surprised a GM would be so honest about this matter. Most people are in denial. These QB monster salaries are killing teams!

    Good for him Grigson for NOT being in denial.

  66. Aaron Rodgers contract is a huge chunk of the Packers cap space, but that doesn’t seem to affect the roster too much.
    I think the problem Indy / Grigson has is Grigson.
    Lucks cap number is $18mil this year. How is that a problem? Here’s the problem – Almost $15 mil in DEAD MONEY from bad deals made by Indy. C’mon man !!

  67. “I mean, is is possible anyone else has done this, like the Patriots, Steelers, Bengals, Ravens, Broncos, Chargers, Seahawks, Cardinals, Saints, Falcons, Panthers, Packers, Lions, Giants, or Cowboys?”

    In the case of the Patriots, they had to have the best quarterback in the game be willing to take less so others could be signed. Not many around like him. Including Luck.

  68. Truth. Besides, if Luck is the wunderkind that he’s been lofted up to be, all other talk is meaningless. The man he replaced took two Colts teams with suspect Ds to two Super Bowls and won one. Ol Andy is making rookie mistakes,not 4 year vet plays.

  69. Wow, way to throw your only good player under the bus for your mistakes. Well, what do you expect. Grigson has been a terrible GM who feuded with his coach while trying to undermine him after making up the trumped up deflate gate charges.

    …and got rewarded with an extension.

  70. Grigson tried to come up with something to try to justify his team’s losing ways. However, it is that sort of thinking which is sinking the franchise.

  71. Grigson tried to come up with something to try to justify his team’s losing ways. However, it is that sort of thinking which is sinking the franchise.

  72. No other current QB can have success with this Colts roster. Brady, Garoppolo, Wilson you name it. They would all go under .500

  73. Fact is Grigson is in over his head and doesn’t have a clue. He should have been building the roster when Luck was being paid under the rookie wage scale knowing that one day he would be earning veteran QB money. It’s callled planning for the future something Grigson obviously didn’t do.

  74. “While QBs like Drew Brees, Phillip Rivers and Andrew Luck get great stats, their salaries sink the team’s ship. And if a major QB gets hurt for an extended period, it’s a disaster of titanic proportions! That’s because most don’t have serviceable backups. Just clipboard holders.

    I’m surprised a GM would be so honest about this matter. Most people are in denial. These QB monster salaries are killing teams!”
    ———————————
    Submitted for your approval–Brady, Rodgers, Roethlisberger. Their salaries are just KILLING their teams.

    It’s not just the salary, it’s how you build around it.

  75. Grigson is always playing the blame game. He should be fired because he isn’t very good at building a team for his coaches. You have Andrew Luck and you can’t win?? C’mon. When are you gonna surround him with a team? You’re fired Grigson.

  76. It’s “well known around the league” that Ryan Grigson is an idiot, incompetent at every aspect of running a team, incapable of admitting either his own failings or that other franchises are beating him fairly.
    May his contract with Indy always be renewed.

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