Sunday back in Lambeau Field will be the first chance to see whether it matters for Playoff Eli this time.

Patriots executive Nick Caserio is obviously busy right now, but just as obviously, the Colts can wait. Last year the Lions got their ship turned back around after a brief but ugly mid-2015 crisis with the help of Bob Quinn, a front-office import from New England. Depending on how Caserio sees his future with Bill Belichick (and, possibly, his heir apparent Josh McDaniels), he could be an option.

It’s a long, impressive list of choices for the Colts. They’re an attractive job. For once, they’re not fighting four or five other teams for the top prospects.

Timing is everything. The time was right to let Grigson go, and it was right to patiently search for his replacement.

So were his other two Super Bowl seasons. He led the NFL in interceptions in 2007, and his passer rating was worse than Derek Andersons and Jon Kitnas. He was measurably better overall in 2011 (he had to be, because the Giants were last in the league in rushing), but saved one of his absolute worst games for almost last three ugly interceptions in a Week 15 loss in Washington that put them on the brink of elimination from wild-card contention.

In the end, it never mattered.

Sunday back in Lambeau Field will be the first chance to see whether it matters for Playoff Eli this time.

When free agency opens on March 9, some six months (and, of course, an entire season) will have passed since then. A new 49ers management and coaching team will have been hired to replace the now-departed Trent Baalke and Chip Kelly. The 49ers will be pondering the second pick in the draft, and when the roster of this 2-14 team is torn down and rebuilt, quarterback obviously will not be spared.
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