Indianapolis Colts Hire Chiefs’ Chris Ballard as New GM
After weeks of silence on the fate of former General Manager, Ryan Grigson, the Indianapolis Colts needed only a fraction of that time to hire his replacement as the team announced Sunday they've hired former Kansas City Chiefs Director of Football Operations, Chris Ballard as their new GM.
The team made the announcement official on Twitter Sunday evening.
Ballard, who spent roughly a dozen years as a scout for the Chicago Bears before taking the Director of Player Personnel position with Kansas City in 2013, takes over a team struggling to find their relevance again after a five year run with Grigson at the helm highlighted by questionable free agent signings (Trent Richardson, anyone?), and below-average draft picks (see, Phillip Dorsett) that saw the team miss the playoffs in back to back seasons for the first time since the 1997-98 seasons.
Based on the reaction from those who cover both the team and the league, the hiring of Ballard is one that should give Colts' fans optimism moving forward.
The hire of Ballard naturally lead to questions about the future of head coach, Chuck Pagano. Typically when a team hires a new GM, that individual wants to hand pick the person they'll be tied to the hip with as they work toward the common goal of a Super Bowl title. After news broke the team was bringing Ballard back for a second interview (usually a good sign that person will get hired), rumors began to fly he would look to bring in Chiefs Special Teams Coordinator, David Toub, as the team's new head coach despite owner Jim Irsay saying Pagano would be back in 2017 during his press conference announcing the termination of Grigson.
However, as Indianapolis Star columnist, Stephen Holder noted earlier Sunday, it appears those rumors were unfounded.
NFL Network insider, Ian Rapoport essentially confirmed Pagano will remain in place following the announcement of Ballard's hiring.
Whether or not Pagano stays beyond the upcoming season certainly depends on how well the team performs. One would think another season of missing the playoffs would certainly spell the end of his tenure.
The Colts are set to officially introduce Ballard as their new General Manager during a press conference on Monday at time to be determined.
[Source: Indianapolis Colts]