EAGAN, Minn. – Vikings General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah is already building the collaborative process he's emphasized.
Just two weeks after joining Minnesota as the team's new general manager, Adofo-Mensah and the Vikings announced the front office has hired Ryan Grigson in a senior personnel position. Grigson and Vikings Co-Directors of Player Personnel Jamaal Stephenson and Ryan Monnens will all report directly to Adofo-Mensah.
Grigson overlapped with Adofo-Mensah in Cleveland, where Grigson most recently served as the Browns senior football advisor in 2020 and 2021. In his role with the Browns, he provided valuable counsel and trusted insight to Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager Andrew Berry. Grigson worked with Berry and the rest of the senior football staff to contribute to all roster and strategic football decisions.
Adofo-Mensah has reiterated that the Vikings current front office already has "many great pieces" in place and that additional hires will bolster the existing group.
"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 is in his 23rd season in an NFL front office and served as the Colts general manager from 2012-16. After inheriting a team that went 2-14 in 2011, he helped Indianapolis to three consecutive playoff appearances, two AFC South division titles and a 52-34 (.605) overall record (including playoff contests) during his tenure.
Grigson was voted by his peers as the 2012 Sporting News NFL Executive of the Year; the league's writers named him the Pro Football Writers of America's NFL Executive of the Year.
The Colts under Grigson did not have a losing season. In 2015, they broke a 43-year-old league record after winning their 16th consecutive divisional game, a standard set by the only undefeated team in the NFL modern era, the 1972 Miami Dolphins.
Grigson, who also has experience in the Canadian Football League and Arena Football League, got his coaching start in the NFL in 1999, when he joined the St. Louis Rams as a national scout. After holding that role for two seasons, he transitioned to an area scout from 2001-03. During his time in St. Louis, the Rams won Super Bowl XXXIV and advanced to Super Bowl XXXVI.
Next up for Grigson was eight seasons in Philadelphia. With the Eagles, he rose from western regional scout to director of college scouting and finally to director of player personnel. The Eagles advanced to the playoffs five times during Grigson's tenure, including to Super Bowl XXXIX.
Grigson spent 2017 in Cleveland as the club's personnel executive and during the 2018 offseason moved to the Seahawks personnel department. During his time in Seattle, the NFC West team posted two straight postseason berths.
After his time with the Seahawks, Grigson returned to the Browns.
A native of East Chicago, Indiana, Grigson attended Highland High School and then went on to play for his home-state Purdue Boilermakers.
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.
Grigson was tabbed by the Cincinnati Bengals in the sixth round of the 1995 NFL Draft but did not play any games in the NFL.
He played for the CFL's Toronto Argonauts in 1997 but was forced to retire after suffering a career-ending back injury.
Grigson met his wife, Cynthia, while the two were students at Purdue. The couple married in 2001 and have six children.