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

Colts insider Bob Kravitz joins Mike Florio to discuss the 1-3 start of the Colts, including the relationship between head coach Chuck Pagano and general manager Ryan Grigson and the team's Week 5 game against the Bears.

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.