According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Indianapolis Colts are set to conduct a second interview with Kansas City Chiefs Director of Football Operations Chris Ballard on Sunday for their vacant general manager position–while his current team is ‘bracing to lose him’:
Of course, it confirms multiple reports from reputable sources that Ballard either ‘intrigues’ or is the ‘clear favorite’ for the Colts open general manager position.
Ballard has held his current position with the Chiefs since May 2015, having previously served as Kansas City’s Director of Player Personnel from 2013-2015–arriving along with general manager John Dorsey and head coach Andy Reid in 2013.
As noted previously, prior to joining the Chiefs, Ballard served as the Chicago Bears Director of Pro Scouting in 2012 and even earlier, was their Southwest Area Scout (2001-2011).
During his Chicago tenure, Ballard helped the Bears select the likes of Pro Bowl caliber players such as running back Matt Forte, wide receiver Johnny Knox, cornerback Charles ‘Peanut’ Tillman, defensive tackle Tommie Harris, and cornerback Nathan Vasher (via NFL.com).
"Oct 23, 2016; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters (22) hypes up the crowd during the second half against the New Orleans Saints at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs won 27-21. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports“With the Chiefs, Ballard played a role in the selection of cornerback Marcus Peters in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft,” wrote Paylor.“Peters was dismissed from the University of Washington during his junior season after repeated clashes with the new coaching staff and was considered a draft risk by many. The Chiefs sent Ballard to Oakland to spend a little time with Peters prior to the draft.”"
Since Ballard joined the Chiefs in 2013, Kansas City has found draft success with tight end Travis Kelce, outside linebacker Dee Ford, defensive end Chris Jones, and wide receiver (returnman) Tyreek Hill among others–along with Peters.
It’s also possible that Ballard could potentially recruit two of his former key Kansas City Chiefs defensive players: safety Eric Berry and nose tackle Dontari Poe–both of whom were in our ‘Way Too Early Top 5 Free Agents‘ for the Colts to consider earlier this offseason.
However, that could also simply be wishful thinking, as the Chiefs will do everything in their power to seemingly keep both players–salary cap restraints or not.
Ballard would clearly have his work cut out for him with the Colts though, as he’d be tasked with improving a defense that has consistently ranked in the bottom half of the league–while hopefully finally shoring up an offensive line that has continued to struggle in pass protection.
Update (10:53 PM EST): NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports that the Colts will conduct a second interview with the Kansas City Chiefs Chris Ballard on Monday–not Sunday.
Either way, such an interview appears to be imminent: