NFL rumors: Raiders to hire former Colts GM Ryan Grigson for front office

NFL rumors: Raiders to hire former Colts GM Ryan Grigson for front office

Mike Mayock has long had a “ready list” of candidates to join his staff if he ever landed in an NFL front office. The new Raiders general manager wasted no time adding a name.

The Raiders will hire former Indianapolis Colts GM Ryan Grigson, Pro Football Talk reported Friday morning, citing a league source. The website said it was a “done deal.”

This news comes two days after the team fired director of player personnel Joey Clinkscales, who was former GM Reggie McKenzie’s right-hand man. Grigson’s title remains uncertain at this time -- the Raiders have not made an announcement -- but it’s logical Grigson would slip into Clinkscales’ former spot in the personnel department.

Mayock enters his new job with tremendous experience analyzing college prospects, and he has done some pro scouting, but he admittedly needs help with the daily mechanics of being a GM.

Grigson has experience with the day-to-day duties of running a team and coordinating efforts between the college and pro scouts, the coaching staff and the salary cap experts.

Grigson was the Colts GM from 2012 to 2016, with experience as a scout since 1998. He also was Philadelphia Eagles director of player personnel from 2010 to 2011. His tenure with the Colts was a struggle, and he was widely criticized for some draft picks and free-agent signings as the head man, but it wasn’t all bad.

Grigson was named NFL Executive of the Year after the 2012 season, during which he carried out a radical roster reconstruction. The Colts eventually went downhill, and he was let go in early 2017.

Grigson spent 2017 in Cleveland and 2018 in Seattle in advisory roles. He will be part of a greater operation with the Raiders.

Grigson would support Mayock and the personnel department, helping to present head coach/football czar Jon Gruden with quality information pertinent to making a smart final decision.

Gruden has final say on all Raiders football matters.

Grigson would come in early and help the Raiders as they head toward a 2019 NFL Draft where they have three first-round picks and four selections in the top 35. They also have significant salary-cap space to spend on free agents, without big-money extensions coming due in future seasons.

Raiders playing on 80-yard field won't change Jon Gruden's evaluation


Raiders playing on 80-yard field won't change Jon Gruden's evaluation

Jon Gruden didn’t have a problem with IG Field’s playing surface. The Raiders head coach made that clear after Thursday’s 22-21 preseason victory over the Green Bay Packers in Winnipeg, an exhibition played on an 80-yard field due to concerns over unstable turf in one end zone.

“The field, I don’t know that was all about,” Gruden said. “We thought the field was perfectly fine.”

Playing on unusual dimensions simply could be a novelty if the Raiders still found value in game tape.

Gruden said that was the case, and it won’t alter how they look at the game action taking place among backups, with starters and significant role players sitting this one out.

“It’s not going to change the evaluation, other than we didn’t get some kickoffs, or some opportunities in special teams,” Gruden said. “I’m not going to make a big deal about the field. We like the field. We thought the field was perfectly ready to roll. You’d have to ask Green Bay about that.

“It didn’t impact our play calling or our evaluations. We just adapted, as they did, to the new dimensions of the field.”

[RELATED: Peterman impresses Gruden again, has shot to make Raiders]

The Raiders gave a home preseason game to Winnipeg, making this the second of three straight exhibition games played away from Oakland. Gruden said the experience worked out just fine, and that the team doesn’t consider the extra travel or field issues or things like that a distraction from their preparation for the regular season.

“It’s weird playing a home game in Winnipeg, but it’s exciting,” Gruden said. “It’s a great opportunity to spend some time together. We left some players at home. We had some players show up and not play. It was a good road trip. There are not as many distractions here as people think. Antonio Brown’s doing fine. We have a good, young football team.”

Nathan Peterman could make Raiders’ roster after impressing Jon Gruden again

Nathan Peterman could make Raiders’ roster after impressing Jon Gruden again

Who doesn't love a good redemption story?

Nathan Peterman's career got off to about the worst start an NFL quarterback has ever had. He threw five interceptions in his first start for the Buffalo Bills, and he has been used as a punchline ever since.

Then he came to Oakland, and has caught the eye of Raiders coach Jon Gruden. 

Peterman has been in a battle with Mike Glennon for the Raiders' backup quarterback position throughout training camp and the preseason. Glennon has taken the second-string reps through the first three preseason games and appears to have the upper hand in the competition. 

But that doesn't mean Peterman will be looking for a new home soon. 

The Pittsburgh product has impressed Gruden throughout camp and the preseason, and he played well again Thursday night against the Green Bay Packers at IG Field in Winnipeg. 

Despite the shortened 80-yard field, Peterman continued his march into Gruden's heart and the Raiders' 53-man roster. After Glennon played the first quarter against the Packers, Peterman was handed the reins and did everything Gruden could have wanted, completing 23 of 37 passes for 210 yards and two touchdowns, while also leading the Silver and Black into field-goal range to set up Daniel Carlson's game-winning 33-yard boot. 

The Raiders left Canada with a 22-21 win, and while a lot can't be gleaned from a game played on a shortened field, Peterman's performance was something to note. 

"Well, we had seen enough of Glennon, to be honest," Gruden said after the game of the snap discrepancy. "He played very well in Arizona [last week]. I thought he did some good things tonight.

”I like Peterman. I've said that for a while now, and I thought he had two touchdown passes that were dropped today, right on the money. Had a couple other balls that were dropped, right on the money. He took care of the ball. Didn't turn it over throughout the preseason. He's athletic. 

"I like what he did tonight. Especially late in the football game."

Those statements would lead you to believe Glennon has won the backup job, but Gruden wasn't ready to make that announcement. 

"I'm not going to get into anything right now other than we got two pretty good quarterbacks that are competing for the No. 2 spot," Gruden said. "We call the game differently when Mike is in there than when Nate is in there. That will be the case if we keep all three, or whoever the backup is. I thought both of those guys performed well the last three games."

The Raiders didn't keep three quarterbacks on their roster last season, and most expected the Silver and Black to have just two when the Denver Broncos come to the Coliseum to open the regular season on Sept. 9. 

[RELATED: Raiders receivers coach breaks down stacked position group]

Peterman's play, however, might have changed the equation. 

"I've always kept three — last year was the first time we didn't," Gruden said. "I'm not saying we're going to keep two or three, but we are going to try and keep the best 53 guys. We've got three guys who can play the position, and we'll have to make that decision here in the next week."

Peter-Can make the roster? You bet.