The Indianapolis Colts have relieved general manager Ryan Grigson and will be in the market for a new GM. In a press conference announcing the move, Jim Irsay said that they would be retaining head coach Chuck Pagano and interviewing former San Francisco 49ers GM candidate Jimmy Raye III for the GM role.
This is about as good of a situation the San Francisco 49ers could ask for because the Colts won’t be stepping on any toes in the 49ers search (for now, anyway). Right now in Santa Clara, it’s suggested that George Paton is the front-runner for the GM position and Kyle Shanahan is the pick for head coach. Part of the reason the 49ers let go of Chip Kelly along with Trent Baalke is so they could have a GM and head coach working in sync and eliminate all the fighting. Typically with a GM change, the GM will want to pick his own coach that would share similar philosophies. So far, Irsay says that won’t be the case.
If Pagano did get relieved of his duties, it could have put the 49ers in a bidding war for Kyle Shanahan. Given the timing and state of the coaching search, all potential candidates have been signed and hired to their respective teams. This would leave Kyle Shanahan with a big decision between resurrecting a team, or going to one that has the likes of Andrew Luck, Frank Gore, and T.Y. Hilton to get something going.
While anything is still possible, it looks like the 49ers dodged a huge bullet in their search. The Colts could have gone after Paton or Shanahan, but it all suggests that they have their own search to conduct that won’t overlap with the 49ers’.
Things could still change, but we can all breathe a sigh of relief for now that another disaster didn’t strike this team.