Now that we know Todd Grantham is returning to Georgia, at least for one more year, here a few final thoughts in bulletpoint form, because I'm saving my wonderful prose for other matters:
1. There is no information to confirm that Grantham pulled out of the Saints' job because he knew he wasn't getting the job. But here's the time frame of events: Grantham remains coy with media on Wednesday. Grantham notifies Greg McGarity on Wednesday night of interest from the Saints, per his contractual obligation. Grantham interviews on Thursday. Rob Ryan interviews on Friday. And on Friday evening (rather than the morning,) Grantham "withdraws." On Saturday morning Ryan is hired. So ... form your own conclusion.
2. That said, no one should have a problem with Grantham interviewing for the Saints job, or having interest in the Eagles job, if he did. It's the NFL, where Grantham has worked in the past, and it's a level up, period. He would have received a raise. (Dan Quinn is getting $1.9 million annually after leaving Florida for the Seattle Seahawks.) And it would have put Grantham in better position for a head coaching job. Ambition is not a bad thing, folks.
3. Do I think Grantham in a way enjoyed having this out there? Yes. Look, the Georgia defense had a below-average year, and Grantham's reputation took a slight hit. So reminding everyone he was a wanted commodity on the NFL level stroked the ego a little bit. Mark Richt may have also made the calculation that it wasn't a bad thing for recruits to be reminded that the defensive coordinator at Georgia had an NFL background and was still known there. Could it have hurt the team in recruiting down the stretch? We don't know that for sure. It evidently didn't help.
4. Grantham handled the media well on Wednesday, standing in the team meeting room and taking all questions, and never at any point demanding a change in subject. He was coy, and his smile seemed to say: "You know what's going on, and I know that you know what's going on. This is a dance we must do, and I have no problem with it."
5. Of course, everything Grantham said on Wednesday, he could have said several weeks beforehand. And that would have been the best way to handle it, and I suspect next offseason, if this all comes up again, that's the way it will be handled. Putting it all off until after signing day doesn't really do much good, as it turns out.