Grier has ties to Jets consultant Charlie Casserly. Grier's father Bobby, a longtime NFL personnel executive, worked with Casserly in Houston (Mehta, Jan. 2).
Ballard is reported to be the Bears' top choice for their GM opening. He was a scout for the Bears from 2001-11. (Cimini, Jan. 2).
Ballard was a name that was initially mentioned earlier this week, but seemed to go radio silent for a few days. Ballard has deep history in the Bears organization and is known as an up-and-comer who is known to have built deep ties with assistant coaches to find the right talent and characteristics in players for the system that the coaches want to execute.
Grier is a new name, but an up and coming one in personnel circles. Grier comes from a family of well-respected players turned personnel execs. Grier's father, Bobby, played collegiately before working with Boston College and the Patriots and is widely known for splitting with Bill Parcells over Terry Glenn. Even so, Bobby Grier is largely credited as having a major part in the drafting of Tom Brady to the Patriots. The Patriots were looking for a late-round quarterback and so Grier was the only NFL exec to call Michigan coach Lloyd Carr to talk about the other QB out of Ann Arbor. Grier's brother was an NHL journeyman and now works as a personnel evaluator in the NHL.