INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Jim Irsay promised an extensive search before settling on the next general manager for the Indianapolis Colts.
The team owner created the vacancy Saturday when he fired Ryan Grigson, insisting the “timing was right’’ to make the move.
Now, the time is right to find the appropriate successor. The list of candidates started with Jimmy Raye III, the Colts vice president of football operations, and others have been added as the week has unfolded.
Along with Raye, a look at the candidates outside the organization the Colts reportedly have asked permission to talk with:
- Jimmy Raye III
Current position: Colts’ vice president of football operations
Resume: Raye, 48, is in his fourth year with the Colts and 22nd in the NFL either as a coach, scout or member of a front office. Prior to joining Indy in 2013, Raye spent 17 seasons with the San Diego Chargers in a variety of positions: director of player personnel (2008-12), director of college scouting (2000-07) and scout (1996-99).
Raye’s NFL career began in 1991 when he signed with the Los Angeles Rams as a rookie wide receiver. He’s the son of Jimmy Raye II, a long-time NFL assistant coach who’s currently a senior advisor to NFL vice president Troy Vincent.
- Eliot Wolf
Current position: Green Bay Packers director of football operations
Resume: Wolf, 34, has been with the Packers since 2004 and worked his way up the organizational ladder. He began as a pro personnel assistant (2004-07), moved to assistant director of pro personnel (2008-10) and was elevated to director of pro personnel (2011-15) before being named director of football operations in March 2016.
He is the son of Ron Wolf, the long-time Packers executive and member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2015.
- Eric DeCosta
Current position: Baltimore Ravens assistant general manager
Resume: DeCosta, 45, has been part of the Ravens’ personnel structure since they relocated from Cleveland in 1996. His ascension has been steady: area scout, director of college scouting and director of player personnel before being GM Ozzie Newsome’s assistant in 2012.
Colts coach Chuck Pagano is familiar with DeCosta from his four-year stint as the Ravens’ secondary coach and defensive coordinator.
- Chris Ballard
Current position: Kansas City Chiefs’ director of football operations
Resume: Ballard oversees college and pro scouting departments for Chiefs and works directly with GM John Dorsey. He served as Kansas City’s director of player personnel (2013-14) before being promoted to director of football operations in 2015. Prior to joining Chiefs, Ballard was with the Chicago Bears for 12 seasons as area scout (2001-11) and director of pro scouting (2012).
- George Paton
Current position: Minnesota Vikings assistant general manager
Resume: Paton, 47, has been the right-hand man of Vikings GM Rick Spielman since 2007. His primary responsibilities have included coordinating scouting and personnel functions within the organization. Prior to joining the Vikings, Paton spent six years (2001-06) as the Miami Dolphins’ director of player personnel. He began his career as a scout and pro scout with the Chicago Bears and was the team’s assistant director of pro personnel in 2000.
Paton already has interviewed with the San Francisco 49ers for their vacant GM position and is considered a front-runner for that job.
- Trent Kirchner
Current position: Seattle Seahawks’ co-director of player personnel
Resume: Kirchner has been with the Seahawks since 2010, the last two years as their co-director of player personnel. He previous was the team’s pro personnel director and assistant director of player personnel. Before joining Seattle, Kirchner spent eight years as a pro scout with the Carolina Panthers.
Kirchner interviewed for the San Francisco’s GM position, but withdrew his name from consideration.
- Scott Fitterer
Current position: Seattle Seahawks’ co-director of pro personnel
Resume: Fitterer’s stint with Seattle in 2001 as an area scout, and he’s worked his through the organization. He was director of college scouting from 2011-14 before being promoted to his current position in 2015. Fitterer was a scout with the New York Giants from 1998-2000.
Like Kirchner, Fitterer has interviewed for the 49ers’ GM spot.