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Energy, humor and football wisdom are the traits new Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah is most excited about with the hiring of ex-Colts GM Ryan Grigson as Minnesota's new senior football advisor. But not everyone sees Grigson that way. 

The Vikings formally announced the addition of Grigson to the front office on Wednesday, with Adofo-Mensah glowing about the past two years working alongside Grigson in Cleveland. 

"I am thrilled to add Ryan Grigson to our staff," Adofo-Mensah said. "During my time in Cleveland, I was immediately drawn to Ryan's passion for the game, big heart, and reflective wisdom. He is a talented evaluator who brings energy and humor to every discussion. As a former general manager in the NFL, Ryan offers complementary skills to help me in my transition in becoming general manager and brings energy and humor to the room."

Grigson was the Colts GM from 2012-16. Indy went 52-34 during his five seasons and won the AFC South twice, while reaching the playoffs three times. 

This isn't Grigson's first connection to Minnesota. As Vikings.com points out, Grigson was playing for Purdue when he suffered a catastrophic injury in a game against the Minnesota Gophers. 

"In October of 1992 in a game against the Minnesota Gophers, Grigson sustained a life-threatening injury after being hit in the abdomen by a defender. The blow caused pancreatitis, kidney failure and pneumonia, sidelining Grigson for the rest of the season and – potentially – for his career.

"Grigson returned to the football field, however, for the 1993 season and served as one of three team captains – joining Mike Alstott and Matt Kingsbury – in 1994."

Why so much backlash to the Vikings adding Grigson?

Despite all the winning the Colts did with Grigson for five seasons, including in 2013 when he was named the NFL's executive of the year, his career appeared to crash and burn after multiple players publicly questioned his strategy. Among them was former Colts punter Pat McAfee, who has become an online sports talk star. 

McAfee blames Grigson for overhauling what was a winning culture in Indianapolis, even though the Colts had gone 2-14 the year before Grigson was hired. 

"Grigson, it was his first time getting put in power so I think he wanted to put his stamp on everything, and in doing so it changed a lot about what was great in Indianapolis," Mcafee said in 2020

In Minnesota, Grigson won't have the power to change culture. He might have input, but the culture will be created by Adofo-Mensah, who elected up-and-comer Kevin O'Connell to lead the Vikings over one of the most popular coaches on the planet, Jim Harbaugh. 

And according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, Adofo-Mensah plans to set up the foundation of the front office after the NFL Draft, so it's not entirely clear how much input Grigson will have on the Vikings' 2022 draft class. 

As far as personnel decisions go, Grigson had some home runs but also some massive swings and misses, including trading a first-round pick to the Browns for running back Trent Richardson, who never lived up to the hype of being taken third overall in 2012. 

McAfee and ex-Colts defensive end Robert Mathis still have a grudge with Grigson for releasing Antoine Bethea and drafting LaRon Landry, who is better known now as a bodybuilder than a football player. 

And then there's the Andrew Luck situation. Grigson was gifted as a rookie GM with Andrew Luck and the first overall pick in 2012. But as generationally talented as Luck was, Grigson is blamed for cutting his career short by failing to draft offensive linemen to protect him — and the end result was Luck being battered year in and year out, ultimately putting too much mental and physical pressure on him to continue playing after only six seasons. 

So when you're scrolling through Twitter and Vikings message boards wondering why there are so many discouraging comments about Grigson, that's why.

Recent stories, however, paint Grigson as a changed man who is actively trying to address previous shortcomings. 

Cleveland.com did a piece about him in October of 2020, in which Grigson admitted to his mistakes with the Colts and owned up to his tarnished reputation. While working alongside GM Andrew Berry (and Adofo-Mensah) in Cleveland, he tried to use his past as an example of what not to do in the future, according to the story.

Here's a quote from it: 

"It’s one thing he’ll readily admit is that he wishes he would’ve accomplished that a little bit better when Andrew was there,'' said Berry. "It’s something he really pounded the table about here in the offseason, the importance of [o-line quality and depth] to our long-term success.''

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